At an undisclosed location in the southern edge of the High Peak of Derbyshire, a nurse is conducting a week’s vigil to save the county’s badgers from potentially culling.
Debbie Bailey will be camping out on a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust site as volunteers install traps and then vaccinate those animals captured, with a serum to halt the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
The 46-year-old, of Furness Vale, said: “Ideally we would like to see cattle vaccinated against this devastating disease but our plan is the best, and some say only, humane alternative to the failed inhumane cull of badgers by shooting, that is continuing in the South West of England.”
The intention is that badger setts throughout a targeted fire-wall around the county will prevent the spread of TB from cattle herds to wildlife and reduce the potential spread to farms by the incidence of cross infection.
The thirty volunteers from the three Derbyshire Groups were shown the correct procedure to capture the badgers and the humane requirements for their vaccination and release in a week long operation at each of the counties hundreds of setts.
She added: “Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and its supporters have done an amazing job to raise the £50,000 to start this operation. In this county we are leading the way for the country.
“The partner agencies, the National Farmers Union in the north, Natural England, The National Trust, Derbyshire County Council and many other well wishers have all made this possible.”
On Monday, Badger Trust chief executive Dominic Dyer met with High Peak MP Andrew Bingham, who voted against a roll out of the cull following the damning report into the culling trials.
The MP also visited a survey site in preparation for the vaccination process.