Funding a Safe Haven For Badgers

During Pollyanna’s Christmas exhibition in her private gallery in Derbyshire she was proud to unveil the first 10 copies of a new limited edition print of badgers, Safe Haven. Each print was co-signed by Queen Guitarist Brian May - a passionate advocate for animal welfare.

A few days after the event, Pollyanna was delighted to present Debbie Bailey (above right) of the High Peak Badger Group with a cheque for £1,000.00 – the initial funds raised by the campaign. The limited edition prints will continue to raise funds to protect badgers, and the Foundation will be making further contributions in due course.

Pollyanna said ‘I was so impressed with the work Debbie had been doing – she has taken a years’ unpaid sabbatical from nursing to undertake the role of lead vaccinator to the Derbyshire Badger Vaccination programme, which is in incredible commitment. The Foundation is pleased to be able to support her work to protect these beautiful, intelligent animals’.

Vaccination is a real alternative to the controversial badger cull undertaken as part of measures against the devastating impacts of bovine tuberculosis (TB), a disease which costs the UK cattle farming industry tens of millions of pounds every year. With the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border identified as another hotspot for bovine TB, a cull could be carried out in Derbyshire. Although it is vital to take measures to prevent this disease in cattle, scientific evidence does not support a cull. A 10-year pilot cull carried out between 1997 and 2007 concluded that bovine TB was only marginally reduced within the culling area and outside the culling area it rose as badgers were disturbed and moved around – known as perturbation. Some well-known figures in the environmental world have spoken out against a cull, including Sir David Attenborough, Simon King and Chris Packham. Lord Krebs, who led the pilot culling trials, has himself said: “I can’t understand how anybody who’s looked at the science would say this cull is a good idea.”

Badger BCG vaccine alone is not the solution to bovine TB, but it does have an immediate effect with no known negative impact other than cost. This five-year programme aims to make a worthwhile contribution towards finding a solution to a serious animal disease problem and to explore the practicalities of vaccination.

Pollyanna said “This vaccination programme is a wonderful example of wildlife groups working together, and with a range of partners towards a common goal.” The Badger Trust and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have collaborated with local badger groups, National Farmers' Union, individual farmers, the National Trust, Derbyshire County Council, British Mountaineering Council and the police.

The vaccination programme will contribute to the local control of bovine TB by creating immunity in a population of Derbyshire badgers. It is part of a five-year plan aimed at convincing the government to fund alternatives to culling.

Pollyanna commented “The more money we raise, the more we can do to help protect Derbyshire’s badgers and fight the scourge of bovine TB. Our aim is to make Derbyshire a Safe Haven for badgers.”

Pollyanna presented this initial donation at the High peak Badger Ball – and also present on the evening were Tim Birch, representing the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (above left) and Dominic Dyer, CEO of The Badger Trust (right) – of which Pollyanna is proud to be patron.