Badger vaccination scheme relaunched in fight against bovine TB in UK
The relaunched Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme, which was suspended for two years following a global vaccine shortage, opens for expressions of interest, with projects set to start in spring 2018.
Successful applicants will receive a government grant for 50% of their costs from a fund worth £700,000 over four years.
The government also announced a contract has been awarded to deliver a new bTB advisory service which will offer clear, practical advice to help farmers protect their herds from the disease and manage the impacts of a TB breakdown on their farm.
Both measures are key parts of the government’s strategy to eradicate bTB in England, which includes one of the most rigorous cattle surveillance programmes in the world, strong movement controls, promoting good biosecurity, and badger control where the disease is rife.
Bovine TB costs taxpayers over £100m every year and England has the highest incidence of the disease in Europe.
In 2016 more than 29,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease, causing devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities. ■