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Concerns raised over cost of bTB vaccines
NFU Cymru criticises cost of alternative bovine TB eradication

A year after the Welsh Government decided not to proceed with its planned badger culling programme, the National Farmers Union Cymru has attacked the alternative eradication scheme.

Deputy president of the union Stephen James said that according to the "Year I Report", the total cost of vaccinations so far amounts to £943,000. This figure, he continued, has covered the cost of vaccinating 1,424 badgers at £662 per jab.

"Here we are with a policy that in our opinion was not supported by the evidence put forward within the scientific review commissioned by the Welsh Government that is costing nearly £1 million annually to deliver a vaccine costing £26,000."

It was announced this week that additional measures will be introduced in Wales to provide a higher level of protection against bovine TB. Speaking in a Senedd Plenary session Environment Minister John Griffiths confirmed that some existing pre-movement testing exemptions will be amended, and a dedicated TB epidemiologist will be appointed by April.

However, Shadow Rural Affairs Minister, Antoinette Sandbach, has also expressed concerns over the spiralling costs of the badger vaccination pilot.

"The disease continues to spread, while the Welsh Government pursues a costly gamble with trial vaccination," she said. "Movement restrictions are being tightened, increasing costs and paperwork on farmers, while the most cost effective methods of eradicating TB are ignored and TB reserve in wildlife is not being tackled.

"It is alarming that £662 has been spent for each badger vaccinated yet the number of cattle being killed has increased since the vaccine was introduced."

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."