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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/badger-edge-vaccination-scheme-2-bevs-2/scheme-outline
The new Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS 2) provides funding towards the cost of vaccinating badgers in the Edge Area of England with BCG vaccine for four years.
This document explains BEVS 2. More detailed guidance is available for applicants: go to “View current opportunities” and sort alphabetically via Project Title to find “Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme 2” to find full details.
The application window opened on 20 June 2019. Applications must be submitted by 10 August 2019.
For support in applying for BEVS funding, email email@example.com.
2. Aim of the scheme
Taking forward the commitment in the TB Strategy, BEVS 2 offers support to privately led vaccination projects in the Edge Area.
The aim of BEVS 2 is to create locally protected badger populations which can act as a barrier between areas where bovine TB is present in cattle and areas without bovine TB.
For more information on the government’s support for badger vaccination or to discuss potential applications, please contact BEVS@defra.gov.uk.
3. Where the scheme applies in England
This scheme is open for applicants in “the Edge Area” of England. The Edge Area is the buffer zone between the High and Low Risk Areas. It currently includes: * Berkshire * Buckinghamshire * Cheshire * Derbyshire * East Sussex * Hampshire * Leicestershire * Northamptonshire * Nottinghamshire * Oxfordshire * Warwickshire
From 1 January 2018, ‘part’ Edge Area counties will become entirely Edge Area.
4. How landowners are affected by BEVS 2
If you own land in the Edge Area, a BEVS 2 supported vaccination project may be conducted on your land. It’s up to you whether you allow others access to your land for vaccination. They may need to access your land to carry out:
- surveys to identify badger setts and levels of badger activity
- careful positioning and baiting of traps close to active setts
- setting of traps for vaccination
- vaccination of trapped badgers
- removal, disinfection and redeployment of equipment
The conditions will depend on the agreement you make with the vaccination project team.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to see a model land access agreement.
5. The criteria applied to applications
5.1 Scheme criteria
For BEVS 2, applicants need to demonstrate compliance with the following criteria:
Vaccination area should be generally within the Edge Area of England
Vaccination areas should generally be wholly within the Edge Area. However, we will consider applications that have some land that falls outside the Edge Area - for example, in order to cover whole farms.
Vaccination area should preferably be 15km2 and consist of largely connected, accessible land
The preferred size for applications under BEVS 2 will be 15km2 or larger. This area should consist of largely connected, accessible land. Entire farms should be included unless there is a compelling reason not to. Slightly smaller areas may be considered if they are designed to take advantage of barriers to badger movement or for other practical reasons.
When considering applications, projects that are larger, or have the potential to become larger in time will be preferred. We will also prefer projects that have secured permission to vaccinate on connected land.
Applicants should demonstrate commitment to vaccinate for a minimum of four years
Badger vaccination needs to be repeated annually for a number of years in order to be most effective. This commitment should be shown through evidence of effective planning (including details of personnel) and by providing match funding throughout the four year period.
Applicants should have effective operational plans in place
Plans should set out how you will deal with the practical and logistical challenges of vaccinating badgers.
Beneficiaries must keep detailed records and data
Recipients will be required to keep records and submit an annual report to Defra no later than 1 April each year.
This data will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination, assess value for money and provide a means of sharing best practice between vaccination groups.
Recipients of BEVS 2 funding must comply with monitoring and reporting requirements set out in the grant agreement.
Support for vaccination projects must be cost effective
All applications for support must demonstrate cost effectiveness.
5.2 Prioritisation criteria
If it is necessary to rank applications that meet the scheme criteria, the following criterion will be used:
- areas at potential increased risk of disease spread or where benefits of vaccination are likely to be greatest will be given priority
Further details are included in the Invitation to Apply: go to “View current opportunities” and sort alphabetically via Project Title to find “Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme 2” to find full details.
6. How award decisions are made
Award decisions will be taken by a Defra-appointed evaluation panel. The panel will include:
- the head of Defra’s TB Programme, or their nominee (this member will chair the panel)
- a senior government vet
- other Defra staff as appropriate
The panel may seek advice from expert advisers including APHA and Natural England, but will make final decisions on awards.
The panel will be guided by the scheme’s criteria and, where necessary, the prioritisation criterion. The prioritisation criterion will be used to prioritise applications in order to decide which are offered funding first, should the need arise.
Awards will be made on the basis of the funds available, and the number of successful applicants. Awards will be expressed as a percentage of the total eligible costs of your project.
The grant funding agreement will last for approximately four years. Grant funding will be paid quarterly in arrears. If successful, you must complete the grant agreement before you can get any funding. We will not provide funding for any work done prior to this agreement.
7.1 Grant calculation
The grant will cover the full cost of:
- mandatory training for an agreed number of individuals
- travel and subsistence associated with the grant funded project, including vehicle mileage costs @ 45p a mile
- depreciation of cages at 25% per year based on an assumed cost of £50 per cage (so £12.50 per cage deployed per year)
Other eligible costs for which a grant of 50% will be payable are as follows:
- direct labour costs (or proportion thereof for staff not employed full time on the grant funded project)
- overheads associated with the costs of direct labour
- consumable materials purchased specifically for use in the grant-funded project - vaccine, needles, PPE, sett cameras etc.
- communications directly associated with the grant funded project (including for presentations at conferences and events)
The grant also includes access to field expertise from APHA.
There will be an annual audit of claims made by each grant beneficiary. This will normally be carried out by the Defra liaison officer appointed to work with the grant beneficiary. They will be trained to carry out those audits.
The liaison officer will audit the claims using receipts, bank statements, the annual report and forms.
8. Evidence for vaccination
Bovine TB is mainly a disease of cattle, but it can also affect other species. We know that the disease is present in badgers in parts of England and that the disease can be transmitted between the species.
Scientific evidence shows that badgers contribute significantly to bovine TB in cattle. The aim of vaccination is to reduce the risk of transmission from a wildlife reservoir (badgers) to a target species (cattle). Vaccinating badgers could play a role in the way we control bovine TB by helping to reduce the spread of bovine TB in badger populations. A vaccine would not, however, guarantee that all vaccinated animals are fully protected, and some may still contract the disease.
Studies have demonstrated that vaccination of badgers with BCG can significantly reduce the progression, severity of lesions and excretion of Mycobacterium bovis (the cause of bovine TB). For example, Defra has published reports on the safety of BCG vaccine in captive badgers and the effectiveness and safety of BCG vaccine in captive badgers. Defra conducted a field study over 4 years in a naturally infected population of over 800 wild badgers in Gloucestershire. This found that vaccination resulted in a 74% reduction in the proportion of wild badgers testing positive to a blood test for TB. The results demonstrate that the administration of BCG to badgers can reduce the severity and progression of experimentally induced TB and the frequency of excretion of Mycobacterium bovis. Additionally, the risk of a positive result in unvaccinated cubs to a sensitive panel of diagnostic tests was reduced by 79% when more than a third of their social group were vaccinated.
While these results indicate a clear effect of vaccination on badgers, these tests on their own can’t tell us how well BCG vaccine works to reduce disease transmission between badgers and cattle. BCG has been used in a government-funded project in Gloucestershire, in the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme during 2015 and 2018 and by others such as the National Trust and local Wildlife Trusts.