Badger vaccination pilot project to start next month
A pilot project proposing vaccination as an alternative to the badger cull as a means for halting the spread of bovine TB is set to begin next month.
If successful the pilot project which is being spearheaded by Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George on five farms in West Cornwall could be rolled out across the entire 200 sq km Penwith peninsula in a five-to-six year programme.
The community-led programme has been targeted to begin this autumn and follows a meeting between Mr George, Professor Rosie Woodroffe from the Zoological Society of London and volunteers last Friday.
The Western Morning News reported on Thursday that the Government's pilot cull is risking failure with figures for badgers shot well below the proposed targets.
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Mr George said a cull previously undertaken in West Cornwall only managed to cull the badger population by 50%, short of the 70% requirement.
"It is highly unlikely that West Cornwall will ever be identified as an area where the Government's policy can proceed," he said.
"While other areas are concerning themselves with the badger cull, I believe that we have a better and more workable solution which I guess will, in time, prove to be not only more productive but less expensive than the Government's favoured option."