Natural England - Vaccination of badgers

Vaccination of badgers

Background

The injectable Badger BCG vaccine was approved for use on badgers in 2010 and now forms an important part of the package of measures available to tackle the problem of bTB. As an injectable vaccine, badgers need to be captured before it can be administered, so a licence under the Protection of Badgers Act is needed to permit the trapping of badgers for vaccination. The vaccine can only be administered by a qualified Vet or by someone trained as a ‘Lay vaccinator’, in accordance with the Veterinary Surgery (Vaccination of Badgers against Tuberculosis) Order 2010, with appropriate training or experience in badger trapping.

Defra Badger Vaccine Deployment Project

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) are running a Defra funded Badger vaccine deployment project in which they are trapping and vaccinating badgers using BCG. The primary aims of the project are to learn lessons about the practicalities of deploying an injectable vaccine, provide trainingexternal link for individuals who may want to apply for a licence to vaccinate badgers and to build confidence in the use of badger vaccination.

Course contact details: email badgervaccine@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0844 2480073.

How to apply for a licence to trap badgers for vaccination against bovine TB

The injectable vaccination of badgers is available, separately from the Defra deployment project, as a licensed option to help prevent the spread of bovine TB. Landowners or occupiers, who wish to vaccinate badgers, will need to employ a trained licensed contractor or complete the training themselves.

Please note: only people with appropriate training and experience will be licensed by Natural England to trap badgers for vaccination. A list of certified lay contractors who have completed the required training is available on the AHVLA websiteexternal link.

Anyone wishing to vaccinate badgers on their land, or who is interested in training as a contractor, either for a specific site or to offer this as a service to others is advised to contact the AHVLA (see above) for further advice.

Application form

Applications for trapping licences should be submitted to Natural England using this application form: (231kb)word document.

Please ensure that when submitting your application you provide us with the following information:

  • A copy of the AHVLA certificate of competency (for applicant and any additional vaccinators to act under the licence).
  • Maps of proposed vaccination sites showing sett locations (if applying for specific sites).
  • Proof of landowner’s/occupier’s permission (if not applicant's land).
  • Results of consultation if the land is on a designated site such as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or National Nature Reserve (NNR).
  • Names and addresses of both prescribing and supervising vets (these may be the same person).
  • Completed Application Form signed by applicant and landowner/occupier (where appropriate).

Please note: we aim to process all applications within 30 working days. For complex new applications, we may take longer to consider the application and we may ask for more information. As soon as we identify that it may take longer to reach a decision, we will write to advise the applicant of the reason for the delay and give them an estimate of when they can expect our licensing decision.

Renewal form and report of action taken under licence

Licensees are required to complete the licence return form: (235kb)word document to notify us of action taken – even if no trapping has taken place - no later than 31 January of the year after the end of each trapping season and after the expiry of the licence.

Please note: failure to provide a report is a breach of the licence conditions and may lead to licences being revoked and/or future applications for licences being refused.