Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most serious animal diseases affecting the cattle industry in the UK. The badger is a well recognised wildlife reservoir of TB and therefore controlling the spread of this disease from badgers to cattle is a key requirement for eradicating the disease in cattle. BadgerBCG, the first TB vaccine for use in badgers, has been shown to reduce the severity of disease in individuals and reduce the shedding of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of TB. Despite limited use, there is much media and public interest in badger vaccination and it is very possible that veterinary surgeons will be asked to provide advice on its use. This article explains the practicalities of the use of BadgerBCG, the role of the veterinary surgeon in prescribing and directing the use of the vaccine, and the role of lay vaccinators and how they can work to vaccinate badgers under the direction of the veterinary surgeon.
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