Bovine Tuberculosis is a serious infection of domesticated animals (cattle in particular) and wild animals (badgers in particular). Incidence of the disease in parts of Great Britain has increased substantially over the last 20 years.
Bovine TB (bTB) costs the UK millions of pounds every year and Shropshire Wildlife Trust recognises the hardship that it causes in the farming community. We consider the Government should put biosecurity and vaccination at the centre of efforts to tackle this disease rather than culling badgers.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust urges the Government to pursue the following as a matter of priority:
1 Cattle vaccine
Complete the development of a cattle vaccine and secure change to EU regulation to permit its commercial deployment.
All possible measures should be pursued to prevent disease transmission on-farm and in transit.
3 Badger vaccination
Support landowners to use the injectable BadgerBCG vaccine. In 2012 we started a 5-year programme of badger vaccination on one of our nature reserves in the north of the county. We are also working with Cheshire Wildlife Trust to deploy the vaccine strategically over large areas of land. Gloucestershire and Somerset Wildlife Trusts will vaccinate badgers on their nature reserves within the pilot cull areas of West Gloucestershire and West Somerset. We also urge Defra to continue development of an oral badger vaccine.
Shropshire Wildlife Trust has hosted two forums bringing together scientists, farmers, landowners and vets to share the latest understanding and discuss practical alternatives to culling.
Click here to read a synopsis of the forum in 2012
Click here to read a synopsis of the forum in 2013
What can I do?
Badgers belong in our hedgerows and woods. Donate to our vaccination programme appeal .
Email your MP to say that you value nature and badgers and that you want the cull halted. Ask them to continue to put pressure on the Government to scrap their cull plans and prioritise badger vaccination. We have produced this template letter to give you some ideas, but it is much better if you personalise it with your own thoughts.
Sign the Shropshire Council petition to save Shropshire's badgers here.
Sign the Telford and Wrekin Council e-petition now to make sure that Telford's badgers are saved from culling.
Email your MEP and ask them to press for the EU ban on a cattle vaccine to be lifted. Find the details of your MEP HERE . A cattle vaccine is the long term solution to the bTB problem, but EU rules currently prevent it from being tested and used in this country.
Find out more:
A restatement of the natural science evidence base relevant to the control of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain