The new policy of badger vaccination in north Pembrokeshire is now entering delivery phase, with the Environment Minister, John Griffiths, confirming in recent days that the vaccination programme is now firmly underway.
Vaccination formally began in the Intensive Action Area (IAA) on Monday 11th June, and will continue throughout the summer and early autumn. The Welsh Government have reported that so far, the vaccination programme has resulted in the successful trapping and vaccination of over 275 badgers. This is the first time that a project to cage trap and vaccinate badgers on this ambitious scale has been undertaken, with the IAA comprising 288km² of open countryside.
John Griffiths said “I would like to thank farmers and landowners for their co-operation. We will be monitoring the results of vaccination, and of our whole eradication programme, carefully to ensure we are making good progress towards our ultimate goal of a TB free Wales.” The IAA continues to be subject to increased biosecurity measures and tighter controls on cattle movements.
The vaccination programme has been carried out by employees from the Welsh Government who have successfully completed The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) course relating to the cage trapping and vaccination of badgers by injection. The Welsh Government has also released footage of the vaccination taking place.
Vaccination has not yet taken place on any Wildlife Trust land, but we are working with the Chief Veterinary Officer, Christianne Glossop, on the best ways that WTSWW can contribute to the programme and support the new policy.