Work has just begun on the year two programme of its five year plan to vaccinate the badgers in our Castle Woods nature reserve, Llandeilo.
The steep woodlands at Castle Woods nature reserve are home to a large number of badger setts, and rare breed cattle graze on the adjacent pasture land, including along the fertile Tywi valley. Vaccination of the Castle Woods badgers began in 2014, when thirty four animals were inoculated against bovine tuberculosis (bTB) using an injectable BCG vaccine.The Wildlife Trusts are firmly opposed to the culling of badgers and we at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales have campaigned for many years against a badger cull and lobbied for vaccination to be used as an alternative way to combat bovine TB. Thanks to financial support from the Welsh Government, and through our own fundraising efforts, we have been able to start delivering vaccination of badgers on our own land. The work at Castle Woods will help to protect the resident badger population against the disease and contribute to the benefits of the many other cattle-based and farm biosecurity measures already in place to help protect cattle in the local area from TB.
We will be working in partnership with EcoCon, a badger vaccination specialist, to deliver this work. EcoCon offer nationwide contract badger vaccination services to the agricultural and environmental sectors.
“We firmly believe that badger vaccination is a viable and sustainable alternative to culling in mitigating the role of badgers in the transmission of bovine TB. We felt it was important that we played a role in demonstrating the feasibility of badger vaccination at the scale of an individual holding, even though we have no cattle of our own on this particular site. We want to be part of the solution. We are very supportive of Welsh Government’s policy on badger vaccination and would urge other landowners to look into vaccinating their own badgers. ”
“We are incredibly grateful to Welsh Government for the funding they have contributed, and to all our supporters who have also made this possible. We are still seeking limited additional funds to complete the full five year programme, so we would love to hear from anyone who would consider making a donation to this important work”.
Dr Lizzie Wilberforce, our Conservation Manager
Donations can be made by phone by calling 01656 724100 and asking to donate to the Badger Appeal.