As culling of badgers starts in England, Wales has thankfully taken a different route. Currently badgers are being vaccinated across Pembrokeshire in order to prevent the spread of the disease. We have started an appeal so that we can take this work further and show how management of disease can happen effectively.
We have raised just over £2000 from generous donors around our patch but to ensure that we can do this vital work we need to raise more.
Can you help us? We need to raise £10,000 to ensure that we can lead the way in demonstrating that vaccination is the safest approach to managing bovine TB out of badgers, thereby reducing the possibility of badger to cattle and cattle to badger transmission of the disease.
£2000 is a great start but to run an exemplar demonstration project this only takes us part of the way. We need to raise more funds to enable us to work with partners and create a realistic model of how cost-effective vaccination can be done at a relevant scale in the landscape.
This is what we will do:
Produce a plan for vaccinating badgers on our own nature reserves, working with neighbouring landowners to work effectively across a wider area.
We may use accredited contractors to vaccinate but we need to train staff and volunteers to carry out all the preparatory work, to make the most efficient use of resources.
We need to buy the necessary equipment and ensure all the appropriate paperwork is in place.
Alongside this we will continue to work with local farmers, Welsh Government and the public to raise awareness of the disease, to lobby for continued development of an oral vaccine for badgers and cattle vaccination, and to support the vaccination programme to ensure a cull does not become a possibility in Wales.
We will be working in partnership with other Wildlife Trusts in Wales and are aiming to start vaccinating badgers on pilot sites in the WTSWW area, Gwent and Radnorshire, by May 2014, demonstrating how this can be done cost-effectively through working in partnership with volunteers and landowners. We will publicise the results of this work and roll it out to a wider area the following year. There is a great deal of preparation needed to meet this goal. We will be seeking grant funding for the bulk of the work but need your help to get started.
Please make a contribution to this appeal to help protect badgers in Wales and make a contribution to fight the scourge of bovine TB. Please download this Donation Form and send to Badger Appeal, The Nature Centre, Parc Slip, Fountain Road, Tondu, Bridgend, CF32 0EH, donate online or phone 01656 724100 to make a donation over the phone.