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Badger vaccination in the Intensive Action Area

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Vaccinated badger
We have established a five year badger vaccination project in the Intensive Action Area.

Our five year vaccination project in the Intensive Action Area (IAA) began in May 2012. It is part of a range of measures to reduce the level of infection within all species in the area.

Purpose of the badger vaccination project

The purpose of the badger vaccination project is to raise immunity against bovine TB within the badger population. Over time, repeated vaccination should result in a decrease in the level of disease. It should also reduce the potential for the onward spread of infection to cattle and other badgers in the area.

How the work is carried out

The vaccination project is carried out by trained Welsh Government employees. Vaccinators have successfully completed the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) course relating to the cage trapping and vaccination of badgers by injection. Badgers are cage trapped at night and injected as early as possible the next morning with the badger BCG vaccine. All badgers are assessed before they are released. We seek veterinary assistance if any badger shows signs of injury or illness.

Badger vaccination is undertaken in cycles. The duration of a cycle can vary between 3 and 4 weeks depending on the area to be covered and level of badger activity. A cycle of work begins with a visit to each landowner in the selected area to request permission to access the land. The next stage involves surveying for badger activity and positioning cage traps in suitable locations. Traps are tied open and pre-baited for a period allow the  badgers to become familiar with the bait and traps. In the final week of the cycle traps are set to catch and the badgers are vaccinated.

Video of badger vaccination

A short video of the badger vaccination process can be viewed on our YouTube channel (external link). We have also produced a DVD which shows the badger vaccination process. If you would like to receive a copy of the DVD please contact us:

TB Team
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff, CF10 3NQ

Email: bovinetb@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Sites of Special Scientific Interest

Ahead of working in protected habitat areas, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest or common land, we have worked closely with:

  • The Countryside Council for Wales
  • South West Wales Wildlife Trust
  • Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
  • Pembrokeshire County Council.