‘Inject to Protect’ Badgers

After a two year break in its vaccination project due to a global shortage of vaccine, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT) is now working in partnership with our neighbours at the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust (NWT) to continue this important work.

We are now participating in the wider NWT led Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) that covers an area of 50 square kilometres in the Vale of Belvoir.  In continuation of our previous vaccination work, a further round of vaccinations has recently been undertaken by NWT staff on an LRWT reserve in north Leicestershire.

A total of 16 badgers were vaccinated over two nights and this will be followed up again next year to build upon the work already undertaken.

The Wildlife Trusts are calling on Government to invest in medicine not marksmen.

HM Government has given permission for badger culls to go ahead in England for another year. In addition to the existing areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Cheshire and Wiltshire, badgers are now at risk in Staffordshire and Cumbria. 

The Wildlife Trusts have opposed badger culling for well over a decade and most recently have written to Secretary of State, Michael Gove, to highlight the flaws of the badger cull and request that the cull be ended in favour of strategic and widespread badger vaccination schemes, and to invest in developing a cattle vaccine.

Culling badgers is not the answer and it is also counterproductive. Culling disrupts badgers’ social structure, causing them to move around more frequently and over longer distances – which can result in increased bTB transmission.

The Wildlife Trusts are urging people to write to their MPs asking them to help stop the cull. (Find MPs here.)

You can find out more information on here: https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-and-wild-places/saving-species/badgers

For more information about the Vale of Belvoir BEVS, please check out https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/badger-vaccinations-campaign

Photograph: Badger (Tim Matthews)

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