Farm - 15-05-2023 - Ben Sellick BVSc MRCVS - 0 comments
Bovine Tuberculosis update

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Badger Vaccination

At the time of writing my TB update newsletter last year, we had been told the bare bones of the government's badger vaccination strategy. We now have more information and this year will be the first year of APHA's four year badger vaccination trial across North Wiltshire. Many farms have enrolled thanks to the hard work of the cull company that organized the culls for this area. There has also been a reasonable increase in the area of land engaging with wildlife control measures as land owners and trusts/companies that had not engaged with culling have been able to engage with vaccination.

As the trial gets under way It is clear that there is significant worry and concern across the farming community about the potential outcomes which put bluntly are: will it work? It is forecast that badger populations may take as much as 10 years to recover to pre-cull numbers (although this timeframe may be much shorter). The question must be asked, if APHA do not hit their targets of at least one third of the adult population vaccinated each year, will we create an increased opportunity for badger to cattle TB spread? And if so, what will be the next wildlife control policy be to address this? 

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