Herefordshire Badger Vaccination Group (HBVG) is a sub-group of Herefordshire Badger Group (HBG).
The Group offers a low-cost vaccination service in Herefordshire. The cost to land owners is just the price of the doses of vaccine used (estimated at £16 per badger vaccinated). This compares favourably with culling which costs £30 per badger shot. Vaccination of badgers is HBG’s contribution towards tackling the bovine tuberculosis (bTB) problem.
HBG’s first location for vaccination has already been surveyed. The badgers at this location will be cage trapped and vaccinated summer 2015. All cages will be placed within the property and they will not be visible to the general public. Each cage will carry a notice explaining their purpose (as is required by government guidance).
It is vital that vaccination sites are not interfered with as badgers’ sense of smell is very sensitive and they will be discouraged by unknown human odour. The cages are in place for a week to 10 days. Vaccination takes place over two consecutive nights. All trapped badgers are vaccinated and released within three hours of sunrise. No badger is harmed, in fact some badgers will re-enter the cages on the second night, these badgers will not be vaccinated twice as they are marked when first injected. Vaccination procedures do not disrupt badger populations. Culling causes disruption and perturbation (perturbation is the dispersal of badgers when stressed). Perturbation leads to increased levels of bTB. Vaccination has been tried and tested, it lowers the risk of bTB without causing perturbation.
We are a voluntary group, hence we are able to offer a low cost service. Our work will contribute to reducing disease in the badger population without resorting to culling which has the associated risk of perturbation.