SBVP offers farmers and landowners in East Sussex the option to have badgers on their land vaccinated against bovine tuberculosis (bTB) as part of efforts to eradicate the disease from this area. Because we are a volunteer-run and -led project, we’re able to offer this service at very low cost.
East Sussex has been designated a High Risk area under DEFRA’s bTB strategy. That strategy includes the possibility of licensing the culling of badgers in High Risk areas. We believe that the option of vaccinating badgers – as part of practical on-farm biosecurity and husbandry to prevent cattle-to-cattle and wildlife-to-cattle transmission – will prove a more effective means of eradicating bTB. This is because culling has been shown in the 8-year RCBT to make little impact on bTB breakdowns and, in many cases, actually worsens the problem as a result of the phenomenon of perturbation.
A four-year field study found that vaccinating badgers, on the other hand, reduced the risk of infection by 76% in adults and by 79% in newborn cubs, over time producing “herd immunity”. In fact, a population of healthy badgers is the farmer’s best defence against the arrival of an infected individual, as they will fiercely defend their territory. Vaccination will help ensure a strong badger population.
SBVP has five trained, certified and licensed volunteer lay vaccinators plus a group of additional volunteers who carry out each badger vaccination programme with discretion and professionalism.
We would like to hear from farmers and landowners in the East Sussex area who are interested in knowing more about our work. We are happy to discuss providing an initial land survey free of charge and without obligation. Please get in touch via the Contact page or click here if you’d like more information about badger vaccination.
As we grow, we are keen to recruit more volunteers who would like to help us in our work. To find out more about how you can support the work of SBVP, please go to Support Us or get in touch via the Contact page.