Council to fund badger vaccination in Stroud
5:17pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
BADGERS in the Stroud district will be vaccinated against Bovine TB during the next five years after funding was approved by the local authority.
At full its meeting on Thursday, October 10, Stroud District Council voted to pass Cllr Paul Denney’s (Cam West, Labour) motion to match funding raised by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust by up to a maximum of £12,500.
The money will enable the trust to maintain and expand their current badger vaccination program over the next 5 years as its preferred method to curb the spread of the disease.
Stroud District Council was the first authority in the country to ban culling on its land and Cllr Denney said it was the next logical step to helps top Bovine TB.
“We’re not leaving farmers in the lurch,” he said.
“The Government is determined to roll the pilot cull out elsewhere but in my, and plenty of others, opinion it has been an absolute failure. Stroud could be next in line.”
According to Cllr Denney, because the vaccination will take place through the trust, using volunteers and farmers who are willing to help at no or little cost, the vaccination per badger is set to cost £150, comparing favourably to the Welsh Assembly’s vaccination program, which is costing around £600 per badger.
“We do not support culling and there’s an alternative. So many people are opposed to it,” he said.
“I felt strongly that we should do something, but something that is cost effective.”
The motion was voted in with 22 councillors in favour, 15 against and one abstention, with several members declaring an interest in the matter as members of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl recently expressed his disappointment that the badger cull may be extended for another three weeks, stating that it had been a “severe challenge” for the force.
Because of rising tensions between protesters and marksmen, Gloucestershire Police has increased its presence in the badger cull areas in the county.
“Expecting them to continue beyond the initial six week period is asking a great deal, even though I am sure they will respond accordingly,” said PCC Surl.
"My concern is that the cull operators are feeling the pressure and may become more desperate in their attempts to shoot their quota of badgers while the people opposed to the cull are getting equally frustrated, all of which adds up to an unhelpful situation.”
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