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Badger vaccination scheme launched by Defra to combat bovine TB

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 02, 2014

Badger vaccination groups will get up to half their costs met under a Government scheme launched today. Vaccination of badgers is already being carried out by some volunteer groups

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The Government has today launched a badger vaccination scheme in ‘edge areas’ around the South West bovine TB hotspots.

Farming and wildlife groups will get up to half their costs met in running vaccination projects to create buffer zones in areas such as Oxfordshire and Hampshire.

It is hoped such zones will help to limit the spread of bovine TB across the country and are running hand in hand with badger culling and tighter movement restrictions.

In a written statement to the House of Commons, Liz Truss, the Secretary of State at Defra, said: “These areas are most at risk from the disease spreading from the South West and West Midlands. Vaccinating healthy badgers in this way is intended to help create a buffer zone to help prevent the spread of bovine TB to new areas of the country where the incidence of bTB is currently low.”

The package includes funding award of up to 50 per cent of long-term costs for vaccinating, vaccination advice from field experts, free loans of equipment such as traps, and free vaccine supply. Eligible vaccination projects need to be predominantly in the edge area, and must cover at least 15sq km.

The edge area includes all of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire, along with parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire, East Sussex, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

Mrs Truss added: “I hope that wildlife and farming groups, many of whom have been closely involved in the development of this initiative, will seize this opportunity. I want to use annual badger vaccination, over wider areas than is currently carried out, to show that vaccination has a role to play in combatting this disease.

“This vaccination scheme is just one element of our strategy to eradicate bovine TB. This includes strict cattle movement controls and also culling in the high risk area, which overseas experience shows is vital to beating the disease.

“As part of our programme, we continue to take tough but necessary steps tightening and extending cattle controls. Since 30 June, cattle herds which graze our commons have been subject to additional pre-movement testing requirements.

“From October 1, we will be limiting further the number and type of movements that can happen without a pre-movement test and bringing an end to the practice of part of a herd coming out of TB restrictions before the rest of the herd has tested free of the disease.

“Culling continues to have a vital role to play in the high risk area and this year will see the second year of culling in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Tackling the disease in both cattle and wildlife has worked in Australia which is now TB free and Ireland and New Zealand, where incidence has been reduced. Leading vets support this approach.

“It is vital that we work to make Britain disease free – doing nothing is not an option. The measures we have in place together amount to a comprehensive strategy which includes controls on cattle movements and security, vaccination in the edge area and culling in those areas where the disease is rife.”

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  • mmjames  |  September 08 2014, 10:52AM

    should be NOT an article....

  • mmjames  |  September 08 2014, 10:51AM

    Jake_Blake | September 07 2014, 9:57PM The Warwick "article" that many seem to take as gospel, was only a LETTER too. NOT and article and certainly NOT peer reviewed. It's a crafty way of putting "information" into the public arena, whether true or not - pseudoscience!

  • Jake_Blake  |  September 07 2014, 9:57PM

    The 30+ scientists didn't write an article, they wrote a letter which they signed. It was published in the Observer and it is this letter that I have linked you to. I'm not interested in the views of journalists on this letter, I am interested in what the scientists have actually said and it is this that I am quoting. If you have a problem with that then I'm not surprised since it doesn't give the all ringing endorsement to your cause that you would like or deceivingly try to claim. 16% is the RBCT reduction averaged over 9 years in comparison to a survey area. 19% over 9 years is the figure for these culls because the cull zone is larger. Your confusion about increased rates comes from a Lord Krebbs comment about TB increasing over that time by more than 16% and therefore there being no "real term" reductions. However, when one looks at the actual periodical data and not the averages one sees that the reductions were much greater than the increase in TB and hence why we did in fact see real term reductions in TB, so no you're wrong again.

  • mmjames  |  September 05 2014, 10:55PM

    Free2opine | September 04 2014, 9:54PM Thankyou F2O. I got a bit lost on the link you posted below, but think this is the actual article for anyone interested. http://tinyurl.com/ks4arc5 NB: ".....The distribution of new cases of bacillary tuberculosis among those not infected at intake did not show any evidence of a protective effect of the BCG vaccines."

  • Free2opine  |  September 04 2014, 9:54PM

    mmjames, here are the trials that you were looking for in India Trial of BCG vaccines in south India for tuberculosis ... http://tinyurl.com/gc3ge › ... › Bull World Health Organ › v.57(5); 1979

  • Free2opine  |  September 04 2014, 11:27AM

    Actually, mm, when you think that all a vaccine is, is a mild copy of the original disease, it is hardly surprising that the bacterium can morph into a fully blown outbreak of any disease, not just TB

  • Free2opine  |  September 04 2014, 11:19AM

    mmjames......I will have to delve back for that info, however, I can tell you that 600 children who were vaccinated with the BCG vaccine in Australia died, because the bacteria mutated, which is the reason why leaving bTB and TB to go unchecked is so dangerous. TB bacterium seems to be able to morph when attacked, that is why it has never, ever, been successfully exterminated.

  • barney2  |  September 04 2014, 11:15AM

    Jake-Blake Well done on your cherry picking. I have just read the full article not the amended one your link leads us to. Those 30 scientist were and still are against culling badgers FULL STOP. The full article also contains their damning comments.

  • barney2  |  September 04 2014, 10:29AM

    Jake-Blake. If memory serves me right it was 16% over 9 years and it was a reduction in the trend increase, very different. Thank you for the link, I have seen it many times before including the full version and again it is very different, but which ever way you want to look at it the culls are being carried out in the way those scientist say will not work.

  • mmjames  |  September 04 2014, 9:14AM

    Free2opine | Tuesday, September 2 2014, 12:07PM Do you know if the following was likely? Suggested by someone who knows a lot about zTB! quote "Just a thought, but I wonder if the kids were Heaf / Mantoux screened first? Or just everyone had a jab - as with the badgers. In which case many would be carrying bTB anyway, and it could indeed have made things worse."