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Badger TB vaccine sites earmarked

06 July 2009 - BBC News

Two areas near Tiverton in Devon have been earmarked for a pilot scheme to see if vaccinating badgers can reduce the spread of bovine tuberculosis (TB). ... The pilot will run in six areas and involve contractors working with vets and farmers to trap and inject badgers. The trial is due to last five years and is expected to start next May.

At the moment Defra is talking to vets and farmers in each of the six areas to get them involved, and they do not have to sign up for all five years. Two 100-sq-km (39-sq-mile) areas east and west of Tiverton will be used to trial the badger vaccination programme. The other sites will be in Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and on the Herefordshire and Worcestershire border.

According to Defra, the trial is more about testing how the deployment of trappers and vets will work, rather than a scientific test of the vaccine. The vaccine is effective for just 12 months so badgers will have to be trapped several times over the course of the trial to give them booster injections.

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