VESBA is a farmer-led, large-scale badger vaccination project taking place within the highest risk TB area of East Sussex. It provides an exciting opportunity for local farmers and landowners within the community to make a significant difference in the battle against TB in cattle and wildlife.

Directed by Cliffe Veterinary Group, the project aims to vaccinate badgers over 250 km2 in East Sussex. The project commenced in 2021 and will run for five years.

At the outset, each parcel of land is surveyed to determine the extent of badger activity, including active setts, runs and latrines. Vaccination will then take place, under licence, on an annual basis for four consecutive years. The vaccination process takes around 14-16 days for each land parcel. VESBA have a dedicated team of operators trained by APHA and certified by Lantra to carry out activities on behalf of the project. The team members are well-known and respected within the local community.

Vaccinating badgers against M. bovis, the organism that causes bovine TB, has been shown to reduce disease in badgers. Badger vaccination, therefore, has the potential to reduce the risk of cattle becoming infected with TB following contact with badgers. As well as being a significant animal health and welfare issue, bovine TB is estimated to cost the taxpayer around £100 million a year. In 2013, Defra published a strategy to eradicate TB from England by 2038.

It’s free to get involved in the VESBA project – please use the ‘Contact Us’ page to get in touch.