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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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Scheme to protect wildlife and reduce flooding

News Story 1
 Natural England has announced a new scheme to improve flood protection, boost wildlife and create 160 hectares of new saltmarsh. The £6 million scheme in Lancashire will effectively unite the RSPB’s Hesketh Out Marsh Reserve and Natural England’s Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve. The completed reserve will be the largest site of its kind in the north of England. 

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Welfare event to discuss ethical dilemmas faced by vets

Students and ethics experts will host an event on the difficult moral challenges facing vets. Ethical issues, such as euthanasia and breeding animals for certain physical traits, will be discussed by prominent speakers including TV vet Emma Milne and RSPCA chief vet James Yeates. Other topics will include how to tackle suspected animal abuse and the extent of surgical intervention.

The conference will look at how these dilemmas affect the wellbeing of vets, and explore how to better prepare veterinary students for work. It will be held at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus from 30 September - 1 October 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.