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Badger vaccination scheme relaunched
The badger vaccination scheme will commence in Spring 2018.

Successful applicants to receive government grant

The government has relaunched its badger-vaccination scheme as part of a package of new measures to prevent the transmission of bovine TB (bTB) in England.

The Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme, which opens for expressions of interest today (11 September), was suspended for two years following a global vaccine shortage. It will begin in Spring 2018 and successful applicants will receive a government grant for 50 per cent of their costs from a fund worth £700,000, over four years.

The government also announced the launch of a new bTB advisory service, that will provide practical advice to farmers on biosecurity and risk-based trading.
It added that 11 additional licences for badger control will be granted to parts of Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire. Licences have been granted for supplementary badger control in areas of Gloucestershire and Somerset which have completed their original four-year licences.

Farming minister George Eustice commented: “Bovine TB not only has a devastating impact on our beef and dairy farms, but causes harm and distress to infected cattle. We have a clear plan to eradicate the disease over the next 20 years and this year we are restarting the government-backed Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme to stop the disease spreading to new areas.

“Vaccination is just one part of our comprehensive strategy, which also includes tighter cattle controls, improved biosecurity and badger control in areas where bTB is rife to tackle the reservoir of disease in wildlife.

“While our eventual aim is to eradicate the disease completely, farmers are facing the reality of bTB on their farms every day, which is why we are also launching a new bTB Advisory Service to offer advice to all farmers on limiting on-farm disease risk.”

Chief vet Nigel Gibbens said: “Taking action to prevent bovine TB infection of cattle from the reservoir of disease in local badger populations is an essential part of the government’s 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease in England. Proactive badger control is currently the best available option and the licensing of further areas is necessary to realise disease control benefits across the High-Risk Area of England, rather than at local levels.”

The bTB advisory service will launch next month and farmers can pre-register their interest by email.

 

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.