British Veterinary Association welcomes launch of Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomes the launch of the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) announced today as part of the overall strategy to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in England.

Commenting, BVA President Robin Hargreaves said:

“BVA welcomes the Secretary of State’s announcement of Government support for badger vaccination projects in the edge areas separating the high and low risk areas of bovine TB, that will be delivered on the ground through local partnerships including wildlife groups, farmers and veterinary surgeons.

“We have long argued there is no one single measure that will tackle bovine TB, and it is therefore important that a vaccination strategy is not deployed in isolation but delivered in conjunction with other key elements of the strategy. We fully support the comprehensive eradication strategy for England that utilises all of the available measures, including targeted badger vaccination in the edge area, targeted and humane culling in the high risk area, strict cattle controls, and improved biosecurity.

“Area-based strategies have an important role to play in efforts to control and eradicate the disease across the UK. Recent post-mortem evidence from road killed badgers in Cheshire, one of the counties in the edge area, shows provisional 24% infection rates among badgers, which may indicate that the edge is advancing and thus illustrates the urgency of dealing with bovine TB in both high risk and edge areas.”

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