A MAJOR programme to vaccinate badgers is forging ahead as Hampshire & Isle of Wight Trust fight back against the Whitehall cull of the iconic countryside creatures.

Late last year the Trust launched an urgent Badger Vaccination Appeal to raise £45,000 for a care package to protect local badgers and cattle from Bovine tuberculosis.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are on the frontline in the fight against the killer disease.

Despite growing opposition, including high profile campaigns by Queen guitarist Brian May, the Government is pressing ahead with pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucester.

But the Hampshire & IOWWildlife Trust’s chief executive Debbie Tann said: “We will continue to oppose the cull and will begin vaccinating the badgers on Trust reserves this summer.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity of our members we have raised over £45,000 to date, reaching our appeal target and enabling us to take the vaccination programme forward.”

She added: “The Trust is working with other organisations to lobby against the cull but we are currently failing to change the dogma driven position of this Government.

“Sadly we find ourselves up against a Government that is unsympathetic to the needs of wildlife and the environment.”

The chief executive says: “The Wildlife Trust recognises the hardship that tuberculosis causes in the farming community and the need to find the right way to control the disease.

“We know the difficulties as we manage our own herd of cattle and work with farmers across two counties.

“We care about the health and welfare of people, cattle and badgers.”

She says that with support from Trust members, they can invest in the welfare of both the cattle that graze on nature reserves and the badgers that live among them.


BOVINE tuberculosis (bTB) is an infectious disease of cattle and one of the biggest challenges facing farming today, particularly in the south west of England.

Btb is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M.bovis) which can also infect and cause TB in badgers, deer, goats, pigs and many other mammals.