Toby Perkins MP set out with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust badger vaccination team on Tuesday morning, to take part in the next set of vaccinations and learn more about the importance of vaccinating.

The Government were deciding if Derbyshire will be one of the 10 new counties to be a part of the badger cull extension. Toby is delighted that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have now announced Derbyshire will not be a badger cull zone. The Department have now said that they will give further consideration to how to combine vaccination programs against bovine TB with other methods.

Toby has said “I am a huge supporter of the vaccination programme. The work of the wildlife Trust means Derbyshire is really leading the way. I share the view, which is supported by a wealth of scientific evidence, that vaccination is both more effective and more humane than paying to people to roam the countryside taking potshots at badgers. 17 badgers were vaccinated on the day that I was out with the wildlife trust team. It was hugely educational and well worth the 4.30am wake up call!”

Debbie Bailey, Lead Vaccinator for the programme went out with Toby Perkins and has said “It was great to get out with Toby this morning and show him the important work taking place in Derbyshire. If the cull were to come to Derbyshire many vaccinated badgers would end up being killed. We really value Toby Perkins support and we hope that Theresa Villiers, the new Environment Secretary, will allow us to continue our vaccination programme undisturbed, and show that it is a positive alternative to the cull. Vaccinating badgers not shooting them is the way forward. Let’s not forget that this is primarily a cattle disease spread by cattle and that is where the focus on tackling this disease should be.”

Since 2014, the badger vaccination programme has vaccinated over 637 badgers. With a team of 100 dedicated volunteers and 16 trained lay vaccinators, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust vaccination programme now extends for 110 km2 across Derbyshire. It is the largest volunteer led vaccination programme in the country and the Government have provided over £280,000 of funding. To bring the badger cull to Derbyshire would be a waste of tax payer money.

The Trust needs your support now and are asking people to write to their MP to stop the cull at https://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/46753/action/1

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