ST IVES MP Andrew George, and Professor Rosie Woodroffe from the Zoological Society of London say they are delighted with the strong support shown for a badger vaccine project from a group of volunteers at a workshop in Penzance.
The two will be meeting farmers in the coming weeks with the intention to roll out the project on five farms in Penwith this autumn before significantly scaling up the programme over the coming years.
If the pilot proves successful, and the project receives the anticipated support from both the wider community and local farmers and landowners, the intention is to undertake a five to six-year vaccination programme across the whole of the 200 km2 of the Penwith peninsula.
Mr George 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.
“This disease has had a devastating effect on cattle herds in this area for decades. Concerted action is necessary. It is clear that we cannot wait for solutions to arrive from Whitehall. Whatever is done needs to be scientifically sound and evidenced based.
“I am delighted that so many people have volunteered to assist in a vaccination project. It is brilliant that the Zoological Society of London will manage the project and that we have secured the support of one of the most respected scientists in this field, Professor Rosie Woodroffe. It won’t be easy and could not proceed without the co-operation and support of local farmers and landowners.”