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Farmers come together and help ensure badger vaccination success for second year - Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Badger being vaccinated – Tom Shelley, Conservation Manager
Badger being vaccinated – Tom Shelley, Conservation Manager

Covid-19 restrictions have led to delays and postponements of many activities this year. However, thanks to the efforts of a small group of farmers in mid-Cornwall, badger vaccination in a bid to reduce cattle TB has continued as planned.

The joint effort between Cornwall Wildlife Trust and local farmers and landowners, with specialist help from ZSL (Zoological Society of London), has successfully delivered a second year of vaccination, demonstrating the technique as a potential alternative to badger culling.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Head of Conservation Cheryl Marriott explained, “It has been trickier to deliver the badger vaccinations this year, but farmers stepped up to help. As well as helping to fund the project, they have done much of the legwork, helping to set up the cage traps and pre-bait them with peanuts. One farmer allowed us to store the traps on his land too which was a great help; it really is a team effort.”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust recently held a virtual live ‘Wildlife Matters’ event to explain more about the initiative and this is available to view below. At the event, St Stephens-based farmer, Keith Truscott, talked about why the farmers are pleased to be involved with badger vaccination: “Doing nothing was not an answer – we had to do something. We were uncertain about going down the route of culling because it’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. I’m proud of the fact that so many from the initial badger vaccination farmers meeting have joined up, stuck together and are still hanging in there. I can sleep much easier at night knowing that there are people out vaccinating – it’s better than having people out there shooting.

Posted on: 17 November 2020

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