More land for Wales’ badger vaccination scheme

Landowners have been more receptive to the second phase of the badger vaccination programme in Wales.

According to the Welsh government, operatives trapping and injecting badgers were granted access to more land than last year.

“Participation is voluntary so I am very pleased that in the second year of the programme staff gained access to more land than in the previous year,” said Wales’ farm minister, Alun Davies.

See also: Cattle TB figures show sharp drop in Wales

“I would like to thank farmers and landowners for their ongoing co-operation.”

More than 1,350 badgers were vaccinated in 2013 compared with more than 1,400 in 2012. It cost £685 to vaccinate each of those badgers.

The vaccination work was carried out between May and November over eight cycles of three weeks.

Mr Davies said the results of vaccination and Wales’ entire eradication programme would continue to be monitored.

The badger vaccination trial is being carried out in parts of west Wales, in an Intensive Action Area (IAA). The IAA is mainly located in north Pembrokeshire, but also includes Ceredigion and Carmartheshire.

The Welsh government said the latest TB figures indicate that new incidents of bovine TB are down by nearly a quarter on the previous year.

Slaughter numbers fell by a third from 9,364 in the 12 months up to December 2012 to 6,275 for the same period last year.