Badger vaccination programme restarts in Peak District

A male badger eating peanuts at a pre-baiting site. Photo: BEVS Vaccinations/Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
A male badger eating peanuts at a pre-baiting site. Photo: BEVS Vaccinations/Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
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A second season of badger vaccinations is underway in the Peak District.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust reported this week that it successfully vaccinated over 70 per cent of badgers at a number of setts on a targeted farm in Edale.

Vaccinators Fred Dyson and Mike Byrant preparing vaccines. Photo: BEVS Vaccinations/Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

Vaccinators Fred Dyson and Mike Byrant preparing vaccines. Photo: BEVS Vaccinations/Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

The new season of vaccinations will see the trust focus on land around the village in the Hope Valley, an “edge area” for bovine TB according to the Government where the disease has not yet taken hold.

Debbie Bailey, who co-ordinated the vaccination, said: “The dedicated team of volunteers were out battling wind and rain last week, pre-baiting and making sure everything was ready for this week’s vaccination.

“It is a great feeling to have successfully completed the first one of the year. We have been preparing all winter, training our amazing new volunteers, securing funding and agreeing new vaccination sites but now the hard work really begins.”

The vaccinations are part of a five-year programme - considered one of the most successful models in the country - which focuses on vaccination as an alternative to culling. It is one of 13 wildlife trust-led vaccination schemes across England and Wales.

The trust began fundraising in 2013 for the programme and in 2014 exceeded its initial target of £50,000. Last month, it announced a £98,600 funding boost from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The programme is being developed in partnership with the National Trust, National Farmers Union, Derbyshire’s Badger Group and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).