Alex Easton MLA has today called the DEARA Badger vaccination trial is a success, and calls on DEARA to stop it plans to cull Badgers.
Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:
“DEARA need to stop their unnecessary plans to cull Badgers after results of the Badger vaccination trial shows a large Percentage reduction in prevalence and is calculated thus:
Year 1 prevalence 14%
Year 5 prevalence fell to 1.9%
TB prevalence in badgers fell by 12.1 percentage points (14-1.9)
This equates to an overall reduction of 86% (12.1/14 x 100)
“Badgers aren’t the only animal that carry TB, foxes and deer do as well and the fact only a small percentage of Badgers actual do carry TB makes it more compelling that the results of the vacation programme which has seen TB infected Badgers fall down to 1.9% in the trial area. There is also a question around whether “some of the cattle are infecting the wildlife and vice versa so it’s really not clear cut as TB can be found in cattle slurry”. I’m a friend of the farmer as well as the wildlife and the other alternative is that there is vaccine that can neutralize TB in our wildlife population. That means catching badgers, giving them the vaccine and that would help to eradicate TB in hotspot areas.
“They are moving away from culling badgers in the rest of the UK because, it doesn’t work. It’s actually spread TB more. There’s a win, win for everybody here – for the farmers and for those of us who support our wildlife. The vaccination trial works so there is no need to cull a Badger population were there are only 33,500 Badgers in the wild which is not a big population and a cull will cull Badgers who don’t even have TB. Its time for DEARA to stop their plans.”