Cheshire estates launch badger vaccination project
Four estates in Cheshire have joined forces to vaccinate badgers against bovine TB, using £165,000 from Defra’s Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS).
23 Apr 2015
BY Alistair Driver
The Eaton Estate, Bolesworth Estate, Peckforton Estate and part of Cholmondeley Estate, will work together to vaccinate badgers over the next four years across about 86sq.km.
The four estates, which cover 40 tenant farms, will match Defra’s funding over the course of the project.
In what is believed to be the first successful application to BEVS, dedicated teams operating across all four estates will carry out the vaccination work.
The badgers will be captured and trained staff will inject the animals with the vaccine before releasing them back into the wild.
Edwin Christmas, estate director at Eaton Estate, said the estates believed the vaccination scheme is ‘the best option available to us at this time’.
“It’s a big commitment from a group of private landowners but we recognise that we need to take action to help safe guard the livelihoods of our tenant farmers against the risk of bovine TB and in the current rural climate the consortium felt they had to take action.”
Defra’s Defra Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme was launched in 2014. It targets ‘Edge Area’ counties like Cheshire in order to try and create a buffer to help slow the spread of TB from the high risk areas of the Midland’s and Cheshire further north into the country and beyond.
Last year, Defra introduced new measures to try and curb the spread of the disease in the county, including a move to six-monthly testing within the Edge Area.
But many farmers and vets in Cheshire want to see badgers culled, alongside cattle controls and vaccination, to protect farms. A badger survey, operated by Liverpool University, has been commissioned by interested parties but farmers want Defra to support wider testing of badgers in the county.
For more information on BEVS click here
Applications for funding for 2015 under the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme have now closed.
Edge Area counties
The Edge Area counties are:
Plus parts of:
- East Sussex
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