Vaccinating badgers(c) FLPA / John Hawkins/Rex

Cattle farmers are looking to help reduce bovine TB in Sussex by signing up to a badger vaccination scheme.

The Sussex Badger Vaccination Project, which is leading the vaccination program, has spoken to 100 farmers and landowners about being part of the scheme.

About 30 farmers have signed up, but the NFU is encouraging more to enrol.

The project is also applying to Defra under the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (Bevs), which could help reduce costs to farmers by as much as 50%.

The NFU hosted a meeting on bovine TB on 3 February near Hailsham, East Sussex, which also informed farmers about the vaccination project. 

Ed Gribble, East Sussex NFU county chairman and dairy farmer, who chaired the meeting, said “Vaccination is the only option we have on the table to tackle the disease in wildlife in East Sussex at the moment, so I can see why many farmers want to try it.

“The scheme will also be heavily dependent on support from government, so I would urge Defra to help with further funding for this programme. ”

The Sussex project could cover about 12,300ha of land this year, the NFU estimates.