Almost 50 badgers have now been vaccinated since the start of a dedicated project to protect the wild animals from Bovine Tuberculosis.
The Sussex Badger Vaccination Project was formed in 2013 as a small group, run by volunteers, which offers farmers and landowners a cost-effective vaccination programme to help fight bovine tuberculosis in areas such as Alfriston and Lewes. The SBVP has recently achieved registered charity status.
SBVP director and vaccinator Chris Riddington said: “It is exciting times for SBVP, achieving charity status will open more doors to fundraising opportunities and ensure we keep the costs to landowners and farmers to the minimum. Badger vaccination is a cog in the disease eradication machine, it is not the only tool available but it is an important one and it has a role to play.”
SBVP’s Field Work Co-ordinator Daryl Farmer said: “We all put the hours in on a voluntary basis because we believe in what we are doing, we are trying to make a difference for the cattle, the wildlife and the livelihoods this horrible disease affects. Bovine Tuberculosis is mainly a disease of cattle, but it can affect most mammalian species including cats, humans and badgers.
“We focus on badgers because of the close interactions between them and cattle, especially where badgers are able to gain access to cattle sheds and feed bins.”
SBVP is supported by East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service. Founder Trevor Weeks MBE said: “We know its not the miracle solution to the problem, but it is such a positive step forward.”
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