Can badger vaccination help eradicate bovine TB?

Scientists, farmers and policymakers discuss badger vaccination.

For decades, conservationists, vets and farmers have been at loggerheads about the best way to manage bovine tuberculosis (bTB). This cattle disease, which can be a huge burden on farmers and farm businesses, also infects badgers. Badgers can pass the infection back to cattle, making it difficult to eradicate the disease. In England, the government’s bTB policy encourages farmers to kill badgers in a series of coast-to-coast culling operations which already cover over half the land area of the South West Peninsula, with tens of thousands of badgers killed each year. However, a recent independent review advised the UK government to explore badger vaccination as an alternative to culling, and the Irish government is already moving from culling to vaccination. At this event, scientists, farmers and policymakers will review the evidence concerning the effectiveness, practicalities and cost of badger vaccination, to explore what role it might play in eradicating bTB from Great Britain.


PDF icon Download full agenda and abstracts programme here (352.18 KB)



The evening will be hosted by Dominic Jermey (CVO OBE), Director General of ZSL, and chaired by Lord Randall of Uxbridge.

Speakers will include:

  • Debbie Bailey, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and National Trust: "Deploying a large scale vaccination project using volunteers"
  • James O'Keeffe, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Ireland: "Replacing reactive culling of badgers by badger vaccination: the end-game in the eradication of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in the Republic of Ireland"
  • There will be a short video shown of Keith Truscott, a farmer who has been involved with badger vaccination programmes.


Attending this event

  • This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend and booking is not required.
  • Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.
  • Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre at the Meeting Rooms of the Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, NW1 4RY. See map
  • Underground: Camden Town Station; Nearest bus: no. 274.
  • A drinks reception for ZSL Fellows and their guests is held from 5pm – 5:50pm.  More information on ZSL Fellowship can be found here.


ZSL Library Events

The ZSL Library will be open before the event and will offer free introductory talks to its special collections from 4.45pm - 5.05pm; no need to book. Please contact or click here for further information, including some specially themed events.


ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode featuring some of the speakers from this event, so be sure to keep an ear out for it in the following months! Listen to more of our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes hosted by Research Fellow Dr Monni Bohm here.



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