Maria Caulfield MP welcomes badger vaccination programme in East Sussex

MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield has welcomed the Government announcement that as part of its strategy for eradicating bovine tuberculosis, there are plans to deploy badger vaccination in East Sussex.

In April, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs awarded funding to deploy a badger vaccination pilot scheme in East Sussex. A local veterinary group will manage the five-year scheme, which will pilot badger vaccination deployed by the farming community on a large-scale. This will be the first its kind in the UK.

Interested members of the local farming community will also have the opportunity to complete training, enabling them to undertake sett surveying, cage-trapping and badger vaccination activities.

One of the main objectives of this pilot is to learn from and refine the way farmer-led badger vaccination is carried out. Through supporting industry in achieving efficiencies to make farmer-led badger vaccination more cost effective, the scale of vaccination can be increased in future as well. As farmers possess local knowledge of their area, they can transfer this expertise to the vaccination programme.

Welcoming the news, Maria Caulfield said “It’s really exciting to see that East Sussex has been chosen for this pilot scheme. I know that many local residents are not supportive of badger culling to combat bovine TB”

Farmers and other landowners, located in East Sussex, who are interested in joining the scheme or allowing badger vaccination on their land are encouraged to email lindsay@hurstanimalhealth.co.uk.