This paper examines UK farmers' levels of confidence in vaccinating badgers against bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and their trust in the Government's ability to deal with bTB. In 2010, a badger vaccine based on the BCG vaccine was licensed following field trials and used as part of the UK Government's Badger Vaccination Deployment Project. A stratified random sample of cattle farmers in five different locations of England was surveyed using a telephone survey to elicit their views of badger vaccination. The survey provided a total of 341 responses with a response rate of 80 per cent. Results suggest that the farmers are cautious about badger vaccination, appearing to be neither overly confident nor unconfident in it. However, the farmers did not reveal high levels of trust in the Government to manage bTB policy or badger vaccination. There were no differences in the levels of confidence or trust between farms that were under bTB restrictions at the time of the survey and those that were not or between farms with historically high levels of bTB. Analysis of principal components suggests that 33 per cent of the farmers accepted badger vaccination, but that acceptance is dependent on the wider social and political environment.
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Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed
Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. On page 4, under the heading ‘Farmers' trust in Government’ in the fifth sentence ‘less than a fifth’ has been changed to ‘less than one quarter’.
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