27 May 2021
Responding to the next phase of the Government’s bovine TB strategy announced today, Dr Richard Benwell, CEO of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said:
"Moves towards bovine TB vaccination for both badgers and cattle are welcome. Delivering a cattle vaccine roll-out by 2025 is vital, as cow to cow transmission is still by far the biggest spreader of this horrible disease.
"But a shift to badger vaccinating is long overdue, and yet Government is planning a 5 year long local trial before any wider action, with thousands of badgers dying painful and prolonged deaths in the meantime. We need a much faster timeline from Government on rolling-out a nationwide badger vaccination plan.
"Up to 300,000 badgers could be killed in total by the end of this scheme, pushing them to local extinction in some areas. Reducing the length of some cull licences is welcome. But the Government should pause culling of this protected species entirely this year, while it assesses the first year of the badger vaccine trial, to avoid serious harm to this much-loved animal."
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