Guidance

Bovine TB: Badger vaccination training

Find out what training modules you can complete to set cage traps and vaccinate badgers.

If you want to vaccinate badgers, you must have a Certificate of Competence. You must complete Module 3: cage trapping and vaccination of badgers to get this certificate. You can only attend a Module 3 training course if you have already completed a Module 2 course (or other badger trapping courses which have been approved by Natural England).

Once you have your certificate, you can apply for a licence. In England, this is a licence to take and mark badgers to enable vaccination for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

You must have a licence, or someone in your group must add you to their licence, before you can trap or vaccinate badgers.

Read the following guidance on how to apply for a licence.

Cost of training modules

The costs for training in 2021 are as follows:

  • module 1: Maximum cost of £205
  • module 2: Maximum cost of £205
  • module 3: Maximum cost of £1,143

The government reviews its funding to support training on an annual basis. Defra funded vaccination schemes often receive funds to support training requirements.

If you get funding from the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme 2 (BEVS 2), Defra will pay for you to attend:

  • module 3
  • module 2 - if you have a confirmed place on module 3

If you want to attend module 1, you must pay the full cost.

If you do not receive government funding, you’ll usually have to pay for each module you want to attend.

Book a badger vaccination training module

APHA runs 3 training modules that teach the skills you need to trap and vaccinate badgers. The modules are:

You’ll only get a ‘Certificate of Competence’ and be able to apply for your licence to vaccinate, when you have completed module 3.

You cannot complete module 3 without having first completed module 2 (or another badger trapping course that has been approved by Natural England).

Contact APHA

Contact APHA to book a place on a training module.

Email: badgervaccine@apha.gov.uk

Call: 020 802 62372

Module 1: Supporting skills for badger vaccination

This is a 1-day module that mainly takes place in the field.

This module is not assessed. You’ll be sent a certificate of attendance once you have completed it.

Content of module 1

This module teaches you how to:

  • identify badger field signs
  • map read and produce survey maps
  • carry out fieldwork safely
  • follow biosecurity guidelines during surveying
  • record badger sett activity and other field signs
  • interpret survey maps
  • survey different habitat types

It does not teach you how to:

  • site traps or dig in
  • set traps
  • vaccinate
  • apply for your licence
  • comply with rules on trapping and vaccinating badgers

Module 2: Cage trapping for badger vaccination

This is a half-day module that takes place in the classroom and out in the field.

To get your certificate of training, you must pass a written and practical assessment. Your course provider will then send you your certificate.

Once you complete this course, you can apply to be listed as a cage trapper on a licence to take and mark badgers to enable vaccination for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

The licence holder in your group must add you to their licence as an ‘additional authorised person’ before you can start to set traps. They must contact Natural England to do this.

Contact Natural England if you have previous experience as a cage trapper - you may not have to complete this module.

Content of module 2

This module teaches you how to:

  • look for badger field signs
  • apply for your licence
  • comply with the rules on badger trapping
  • carry out fieldwork safely
  • follow biosecurity guidelines when trapping
  • estimate the number of traps to deploy
  • plan where to site badger traps
  • pre-bait
  • trapping and welfare

This module does not give you background information about badgers and bovine TB, or teach you how to:

  • carry out a field survey
  • map read or produce survey maps
  • vaccinate

Module 3: Badger vaccination.

This is a module that takes place over 3 days and includes classroom and field elements. In order to attend this module you must already have completed module 2 (or other Natural England approved badger trapping training).

To get your certificate of competence, you must pass a written and practical assessment. Your course provider will then send you your certificate.

Once you complete this course, you can apply to be listed as a cage trapper and vaccinator on a licence to take and mark badgers to enable vaccination for the purpose of preventing the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

Content of module 3

This module gives you an introduction to badgers, bovine TB and vaccination. It teaches you how to:

  • apply for your licence
  • comply with rules for badger trapping and vaccination
  • carry out fieldwork safely
  • follow biosecurity guidelines when you’re vaccinating
  • handle vaccines - how to store them, use the cold chain system, and keep records
  • reconstitute and use vaccines
  • assess badger welfare pre and post vaccination
  • vaccinate wild badgers - you can practice this during training

This module does not teach you how to:

  • carry out a field survey
  • look for badger field signs
  • map read or produce survey maps
  • estimate the number of traps to deploy
  • understand where to site badger traps
  • pre-bait
  • set badger traps

Train the trainer course

This is a 4 day module that takes place in the classroom and out in the field.

A ‘train the trainer’ course has been developed to enable experienced lay-vaccinators to qualify to provide future training to new lay-vaccinators.

Only individuals with at least one year of practical badger trapping and vaccination experience are eligible to attend this course. To express your interest and check your eligibility contact Natural England at btbvaccination@naturalengland.org.uk.

Trainees will be assessed on elements of the course and will be audited before being given final approval.

Approved trainers will be able to deliver the approved courses. Module 1: Supporting Skills for Badger Vaccination, Module 2: Cage Trapping for Badger Vaccination and Module 3: Badger Vaccination. This will allow new trainers from across industry and wildlife groups to set up regional training hubs. APHA and Natural England will have oversight of these trainers.

This module teaches:

  • how to deliver training on badger welfare assessment, vaccine handling and record keeping requirements
  • how to ensure the health and safety of trainees
  • training course administration, including data protection and pre-course health declarations
  • field requirements for hosting training
  • how to assess the competence of trainees
  • how to run classroom training, including practical vaccine handling session
  • how to train in the field
Published 24 March 2015
Last updated 27 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated name and content of modules 1 to 3 and added a new section Train the trainer.

  2. Added a link to the licence for trapping and vaccinating badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB in cattle.

  3. Updated as the BEV2 scheme is open for new applications until 25 January 2019.

  4. Content updated to show training modules to trap and vaccinate badgers for BEVS 2

  5. Update on course availability

  6. First published.