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Badgers To Be Vaccinated in Cornwall

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 3:31pm 27th August 2013

As a badger cull starts in Somerset Pirate FM has learnt Cornwall will start vaccinating against Bovine TB this autumn.

Campaigners are calling for the alternative because they think killing the animals will spread the disease to cattle even more.

St Ives' MP Andrew George is spearheading attempts to get more government backing for the jab: "To be fair to the government they're being very co-operative and supportive at the moment and looking very closely at the funding of what will be a six or seven year  extensive vaccination programme across the whole of Penwith.  

"A vaccination programme is really the only option available to farmers, particularly in the Penwith area, where it was shown that a cull was only successful in 50% of badgers and so you do run a very high risk of making the situation worse.

But south west farmers' leaders say the plans to vaccinate badgers will not work. Ian Johnson speaks for the NFU in the Duchy: "It's not an option. It doesn't cure sick badgers, and then you've got the practicalities of trapping and injecting badgers at the cost of over £600 a badger. Now, who's going to pay for it?"

"They haven't got a specific vaccine. They use a concentrated dose of the human BCG vaccine so they don't know how effective it is. It's only about 50-60% effective anyway. What they need is an oral vaccine and that is some years away."

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