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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NFU and Badger Trust work on joint TB vaccination project

Some good news on the bovine TB front comes with a press release from the Badger Trust which reveals that the National Farmers Union and the Badger Trust are working togther on an initial project to vaccinate badgers on two farms owned by members of the NFU.

They say that NFU chief farm policy adviser John Royle and Badger Trust Director Simon Boulter have agreed a joint project in which the badgers on two farms owned by NFU members will be vaccinated. In addition, the Badger Trust has identified five other landowners around the UK wishing to vaccinate badgers and is working independently with them as part of the initial trial project:

Vaccination on all seven farms started in October after surveys were carried out to identify active badger setts and licences have been granted by Natural England. The vaccination project will run until the end of November 2011 and resume in May 2012.

It is hoped that the two programmes, although small in scale, will help to identify whether the injectable vaccination of badgers is practical and cost effective. The NFU and the Badger Trust will continue to encourage research and development into an orally-delivered badger vaccine.

This is a welcom sign that at least one Farmers' union is prepared to engage on this issue and look at alternatives to a cull.
Good! I'm sure the logic and arguments presented by yourself and others have helped to push these organizations towards such collaboration. cw
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