Whilst I have huge sympathy for the farmers who are so badly affected by Bovine TB, I cannot understand why many of them do not accept the offer of badger vaccination around any setts on their land?
Vaccination is being carried out in Dorset by the Dorset Badger Vaccination Project and Dorset Wildlife Trust.
This seems to me to avoid the ‘perturbation’ issues arising from culling, since the badgers do not flee the area in distress and therefore spread any disease to new areas.
I appreciate that a percentage of the badgers vaccinated may already be infected at the time of the vaccination, however a sustained programme of vaccination throughout Dorset will very largely eliminate the disease in the badger population as it has done in the human population.
This, combined with bio-security and concentrating resources on developing a cattle vaccine, must surely be a more effective way forward than culling.
Sally Derrick West Milton