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Wildlife groups resume badger vaccination schemes
Badger vaccination schemes are resuming across the country.

Organisations acquire TB vaccine following global shortage

Wildlife groups have resumed their badger vaccination schemes thanks to a new supply of TB vaccine obtained by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

In December 2015, the World Health Organisation announced there was a global shortage of TB vaccine for humans, meaning The Wildlife Trusts had to suspend their badger vaccination programmes.

But after several months of negotiating supplies and obtaining permission from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust gained permission to import the InterVax TB vaccine from Canada.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust chair and veterinary surgeon, Dr Sue Mayer, who secured the vaccine, has been training 12 volunteers in how to use the new delivery system. Thirty badgers have already been successfully vaccinated, including 12 badger cubs, and the next round is just getting underway.

Dr Mayer Commented: “Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to be leading the way across the country and vaccinating badgers against TB in 2017. UNICEF now say all country needs for human TB vaccine can be met so we wanted to start vaccinating badgers as soon as we could.

"Vaccination is a better solution than culling which research indicates can spread the disease further. It’s also cheaper and avoids the indiscriminate killing of healthy animals.”

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been carrying out the badger vaccination programme across Derbyshire since 2014 – working with farmers and landowners, including The National Trust and the National Farmers Union. 

Its success in acquiring InterVax has also allowed other vaccination programmes across the country to resume, including those of Chester Zoo, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT).

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is due to begin vaccinating badgers on the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border imminently. BBOWT’s badger vaccination programme also resumes this month and will continue until November.

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Classroom pets on the decline

News Story 1
 New research has found there are fewer pets in UK classrooms than in previous generations - despite 88 per cent of parents believing it significantly helps a child’s social skills and development.

More than half of the parents surveyed by Pets at Home (51 per cent) had a class pet as a child, compared to 46 per cent of children today.

The survey also found that non-traditional animals such as chickens, tadpoles, caterpillars and stick insects are becoming increasingly popular alternatives as classroom pets.  

News Shorts
BVA survey seeks views on surveillance

Vets who use veterinary scanning surveillance networks are being asked to complete a survey to help ensure the networks are fully able to protect animals in the UK.

‘Surveillance use, understanding and engagement across the veterinary profession’ is the first of a series of surveillance surveys that will also include localised surveys for Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Drafted by members of BVA’s Surveillance Working Group, it will run until Friday, 31 August 2017. Data collected will inform BVA’s policy position ensuring it is representative of disease surveillance across the UK.