Polegate MP, Maria Caulfield, has welcome the Government’s announcement that the badger vaccination program is to be relaunched.
The relaunched Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme, which was suspended for two years following a global vaccine shortage, opens for expressions of interest, with projects set to start in spring 2018. Successful applicants will receive a government grant for 50% of their costs from a fund worth £700,000 over four years.
Bovine TB costs taxpayers over £100m every year and England has the highest incidence of the disease in Europe. In 2016 more than 29,000 cattle had to be slaughtered in England to control the disease, causing devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities.
Farming Minister George Eustice MP said “Bovine TB not only has a devastating impact on our beef and dairy farms, but causes harm and distress to infected cattle. We have a clear plan to eradicate the disease over the next 20 years and this year we are restarting the government-backed Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme to stop the disease spreading to new areas.
“Vaccination is just one part of our comprehensive strategy, which also includes tighter cattle controls, improved biosecurity and badger control in areas where bTB is rife to tackle the reservoir of disease in wildlife.”
Maria Caulfield MP said, “I am so pleased that the badger vaccination program is being relaunched following two years of vaccination shortages.
“This program will help protect cattle and the livelihoods of our local farmers. Bovine TB costs the taxpayers over £100m every year so it is really important that we can eliminate it. Any groups that are interested in taking part can email BEVS@defra.gsi.gov.uk ”