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CE Backs Badger Vaccination

3rd December 2020 @ 6:06am – by Cheshire East
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Cheshire East backs badger vaccination programme

Cheshire East Council is to support a badger vaccination programme in the borough.

The council has announced it will be partnering with Cheshire Badger Vaccination Programme (CBVP), which will carry out the vaccinations.

The move follows a decision of the council's cabinet, in January, to endorse badger vaccination as an important part of any long-term approach to reducing the prevalence of bovine TB in wildlife and cattle. The council also committed to provide resources to support the programme.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: "We are delighted to be working with CBVP. It has already started vaccinating badgers on farmland and council-owned land and we realise that, by supporting it with council resources, CBVP can offer vaccination free of charge to more farmers across Cheshire East and therefore play an important part in controlling bovine TB in the borough."

CBVP is also coordinating the badger vaccination programme across Cheshire West and by vaccinating in key areas across the whole of Cheshire, its aim is to create a 'firebreak' of vaccinated badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB from the high-risk areas to the low-risk areas.

Elaine Alexander, coordinator of CBVP, said: "CBVP looks forward to working with Cheshire East Council on the vaccination programme and supporting the farming community. Bovine TB is a devastating disease and very difficult to eradicate once it takes hold in an area.

"Bovine TB is spread in several ways, primarily between cattle, but there is a small incidence of infection from badgers. Vaccination forms one important part of a range of measures to control this disease, including increased biosecurity and minimising cattle movement."

Vaccination creates 'herd immunity' in the resident badger population and does not cause disturbance to the social structure, so creating a stable and protected population. By contrast, culling removes local badgers and creates a void for new badgers to move in. These may or may not be infected and so perpetuate the cycle of infection.

Katy Lowe, a cattle farmer in Hassall, near Sandbach, added: "I am very pleased to hear that the badger vaccination programme in Cheshire is to be expanded. CBVP vaccinate the badgers on our land and I have found them to be professional, thorough and understanding of the plight that farmers face. For me, vaccination offers a viable and effective alternative to culling."

More details can be found on the CBVP website at: www.cbvp.org.uk
Any farmers in Cheshire interested in knowing more about vaccination, please email CBVP's Elaine Alexander at: elaine@cbvp.org.uk

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