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Bovine TB
BVA criticises conclusions drawn from badger vaccination report

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THE BVA has questioned conclusions drawn by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust after it published a report describing the first year of its five-year programme to vaccinate badgers against bovine TB.

In a press release dated October 12, the wildlife trust said that vaccinating badgers against bovine TB ‘is an affordable and viable alternative to culling’. However, the BVA President, Carl Padgett, dismissed the claim as ‘unrealistic at best and spin at worst’.

He welcomed the wildlife trust's investigation of the practicalities of deploying the injectable badger vaccine, but said that the work must not be confused with an investigation of the effectiveness of the vaccine in reducing or eradicating bovine TB.

‘The fact remains that the vaccine has no protective effect on infected badgers and we know that at least 30 to 40 per cent of badgers within an area will be infected,’ he said. ‘Many young badgers will be infected before they can be trapped and injected.

‘In terms of the practicalities …

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