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Charity claim south Cheshire vaccination is answer to badger TB question
CHESHIRE Wildlife Trust (CWT) has called on the Government to consider their badger vaccination scheme in the south of the county as a long-term national alternative to culls.
The request comes after MPs voted to delay a badger cull in parts of the south west, following 160,000 registered objections to the scheme in a Government e-petition.
The charity believe a widespread vaccination in countryside encompassing the Crewe and Nantwich region can create a ‘firewall’ against the northern spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
The disease, carried by badgers, costs the UK millions of pounds each year and ruins the livelihoods of individual farmers.
Richard Gardner has been at the forefront of the badger vaccination programme in south Cheshire this autumn.
He said: “We hope the Government will now take a long, hard look at this complex issue properly.
“We’re already demonstrating one part of the science-led strategy that could see a positive step forward in tackling bTB.
“Now we need the Government to accept that culling is not part of the solution, but could even add to the problem, due to the recognised peturbation effect of increased badger movements following a cull.
“Whatever the Government decides, we’ll continue to press ahead with demonstrating that badger vaccination, as part of a package of measures, is a viable alternative, with the support of our members, local veterinary practices and increasing numbers of local farmers.”
The proposed pilot cull in Gloucestershire and Somerset aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of free shooting as a method of culling badgers.