Vaccination of badgers begins in East Sussex


A volunteer team of Lay Vaccinators managed to vaccinate two badgers against bovine tuberculosis this week – the first badgers to be vaccinated in East Sussex.

Traps were baited with peanuts to encourage the badgers to go inside and in the early hours of Tuesday, August 26, the first badger was vaccinated. The first two badgers were caught in Oakwood Drive and vaccinated prior to release.

“The weather was not as dry as forecast overnight and as a result the capture rate was slower than expected, and this is part of the reason why you vaccinate over two or three nights,” said Trevor Weeks MBE from the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service.

Although the land is not a cattle farm, there is neighbouring land that is farmed and grazed by cattle. The Sussex Badger Vaccination Project now has six other farms now interested in badger vaccination on their land which the group hopes to help with at the cheapest possible price.

Volunteers from the Sussex Badger Vaccination Project will return over the next few years to re-vaccinate the badger to help build up the herd immunity in the local badger population.

“We are not aiming to, nor need to vaccinate every badger to be successful. Following well established protocols set out by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), we aim to catch about 80 per cent of the local badger population each time, which is more than sufficient to make an impact of the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis,” said Trevor Weeks MBE.

The vaccine is BadgerBCG, which was licensed in 2010 by the AHVLA. To show your support, send a donation payable to the Sussex Badger Vaccination Project to 7 North St, Alfriston, BN26 5UG.