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VAWM autumn meeting 2014 with the Grafton

The eleventh Annual General Meeting of the Association was held at the Grafton in October 2014. Pictures from the event are available (below) with many thanks to our photographer - Liz Rhys Jones.

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A new book on the need for wildlife management

We have for some time been concerned about the lack of understanding of the true meaning of wildlife management that exists among the majority of politicians, the media and the public. Consequently we have commissioned Charlie Pye-Smith, a respected writer and broadcaster on environmental topics, to write a new book The Facts of Rural Life. We expect the book to be published in Spring 2015. It will draw heavily on interviews in the field with scientists, farmers, conservationists, vets, gamekeepers and others involved in the study and management of wildlife. For more information go to: or to give a flavour of the project Charlie P-S will post occasional blogs and interviews, together with photographs from field trips at:.

The scientific basis for the Badger BCG vaccine is questionable

A recent critical assessment of the scientific basis for the Badger BCG vaccine reveals serious shortcomings.

Although the vaccine has been shown to provide some protection against experimental challenge it fails to protect against infection and all vaccinated animals shed M.bovis post challenge. Furthermore it has no proven efficacy against bovine TB in the field. The likelihood therefore of the vaccine giving protection in the face of the massive infection out there in the badger population is therefore highly improbable. For more information please see our letter to the AHVLA questioning the efficacy and safety of the Badger BCG vaccine (2014b).

The case for culling badgers to control bovine TB is irrefutable

The disease was almost eradicated in the 1980s by a combined strategy of tuberculin testing of cattle and culling of badgers. But following the Zuckerman report of 1980 culling was scaled down and entirely abandoned following the Krebs report in 1997 by the in coming Labour Government. Since when, as may be seen from the chart below, the disease has escalated out of control:


Incidence of TB reactors in cattle


Clearly it won't be controlled by killing more and more cattle as recommended by the so called Independent Scientific Group! Nor is it likely to be controlled by vaccination (see above)

A response to the Governments consultations on bovine TB and badger culling 2010 and 2013

Please download our submissions to DEFRA on bovine TB and badger culling 2010 and 2013 on this link (PDF Format)

For more information go to Badgers and bovine TB and Badgers and the countryside pages.

Video about Badgers and bovine TB

Our latest video about Badgers and bovine TB

Law Commission's review of wildlife legislation

The Law Commission has now (July 2013) reported to DEFRA and we await their response. VAWM welcomes the opportunity the review provides to rationalise wildlife legislation. Download the VAWM submission on this link.

Understanding Life in the Wild

New review sheds light on the lives of wild animals

'Wild animals must be treated in ways that do not necessarily apply to domestic animals' according to a new review produced by the VAWM. 'Life in the Wild' highlights the fundamental differences in the way in which wild and domestic animals live and the differing approaches to their management and welfare.

In the wild there are pressures on wild animals, such as disease and population control that do not apply to domestic animals. In an environment that is called 'wild', yet is almost exclusively man-managed, there is a responsibility on man to ensure a proper balance is kept.  Life in the Wild describes the detrimental consequences of 'leaving things to nature' and explains why certain actions that are unnecessary and possibly devastating to a domestic animal are essential and natural for wild animals.

Download a copy of Life in the Wild in PDF format on this link