MARCH 20, 2009: Farmers will be asked to help catch and inject badgers as DEFRA steps up its fight against bovine tuberculosis, according to a report in Farmer’s Weekly.

DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn said that the success of a government project to test an injectable vaccine rested with farmers. Mr Benn announced that six areas of up to 100sq km would be chosen for the project. All of the areas will be sited within known TB hotspots. Vaccination is expected to start in summer 2010 once the vaccine itself is licenced. But training of farmers, vets, contractors and wildlife experts, to handle and inject the badgers will begin this year. How many recruits will be needed and a cost for the five-year project have not yet been worked out, Mr Benn said.

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