Four years into our vaccination initiative saw 2015 as the busiest. We are now working across 19 sites, 9 of which are commercial farms totalling around 5500 acres in Somerset, Wiltshire and Devon. Two more volunteers qualified towards the end of 2014 as lay vaccinators so we had enough vaccinators to split into teams and work independently and simultaneously at different sites.
Surveying began earlier in the year on several of the new farms which forms a huge and vital part of the whole process. Our terrific team of experienced and professional volunteers made sure all the sites were surveyed in time so that when the teams returned to begin putting down peanuts at the bait points, we had a good understanding of the badger social groups and their movements.
It’s always a team effort when it comes to digging in the traps. Hot work in often fairly cramped spaces it can be challenging but everyone is focused on the job in hand.
Sometimes volunteers have to stay away due to the distance from some sites and the early starts. We have been made very welcome by the farmers we are working with, sometimes putting us up in their homes. It is very rewarding to sit and chat about our work with our clients in the morning over breakfast after we have vaccinated.
We vaccinated 128 badgers during 2015 of which 96 were adults and 32 cubs. It brings our grand total to date to 364 badgers. We are incredibly grateful to all our volunteers who give their time freely.
Sadly due to a world shortage of BCG vaccine (the same vaccine is used for both humans and badgers) all badger vaccination initiatives in the UK have been suspended for 2016. However we fully intend to carry on resurveying existing sites and surveying new sites in readiness for next year.
If you would like to join our team and get involved, or if you are a farmer or landowner and would like to have your badgers vaccinated next year, please get in touch by:
Calling our 24/7 helpline 07850 604585 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org