By Stephen Cadogan
The Department of Agriculture has explained how the country’s badgers will be vaccinated, as part of the bovine TB eradication programme.
“The badgers are trapped using a humane stopped restraint, and then anaesthetised by injection,” said a spokesperson. “A microchip is then inserted that will identify the animal, similar to the microchips used to identify dogs and horses, and a BCG vaccine is then administered by injection.
“The badger is then released.”
Research findings have confirmed badger vaccination can help to reduce infection in cattle.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said badger vaccination will allow the Department to relaunch a comprehensive strategy to finally eradicate TB.
The vaccination will commence in areas where field trials demonstrated the effectiveness of badger vaccination, and will then roll out to other parts of the country, gradually replacing removal of badgers under licence in certain circumstances, which is part of the current bovine TB eradication programme.