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.

Once you have your certificate, you can apply for a licence. In England, this is a ‘Licence to Trap and Vaccinate Badgers 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.

Cost of training modules

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

Defra will also pay for existing lay vaccinators who are part of successful BEVS 2 projects, to attend refresher training. Two training days are currently planned. The same training will run on each day.

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

If you don’t get BEVS 2 funding, you’ll have to pay for each module you want to attend.

The Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) will tell you the cost when you call to book your place.

Book a badger vaccination training module

APHA runs 4 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 can complete module 3 without completing the other modules.

Contact APHA

Contact APHA to book a place on a training module.

Email: badgervaccine@apha.gsi.gov.uk

Call: 020 802 62372

Contact Natural England

If you have your Certificate of Competence, contact Natural England to get a licence.

Email: bTBvaccination@naturalengland.org.uk

Call: 0300 060 0550

Find out about call charges.

Module 1: field surveying to support badger vaccination

This is a 2-day module that takes place in the classroom and out 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: pre-baiting and trap siting for badger vaccination

This is a 2-day module that takes place in the classroom and out in the field.

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

Once you complete this course, you can be listed as a cage trapper on a ‘Licence to Trap and Vaccinate Badgers 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
  • interpret bait uptake during pre-baiting

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: Cage trapping and vaccination of badgers

This is a 2.5 day module that takes place in the classroom and out in the field.

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

Once you have your certificate, you can apply to Natural England for your licence to trap and vaccinate badgers.

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 setting traps or vaccinating
  • set traps
  • 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 practise 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

Module 4: refresher training

You can attend this module if you’re an existing lay vaccinator, and you haven’t:

  • vaccinated badgers since 2015 because of the vaccine shortage
  • used the ‘BCG Sofia’ vaccine in ampoules before

You’re a lay vaccinator if you’ve already attended module 3, and may or may not have a licence.

If you don’t attend this module, you’ll need to give evidence that you’re trained to use ‘BCG Sofia’ before you can vaccinate. For example, this could be a statement of competence from a vet.

This is a half-day module that takes place in the classroom. This module is not assessed.

You’ll be sent a certificate of attendance when you have completed it.

Content of module 4

This module teaches you how to:

  • use an ampoule - including a practical handling session
  • apply for a licence
  • comply with the rules for badger trapping and vaccination
  • use the cold chain system to ensure vaccines are safe, effective and meet veterinary medicines rules
  • assess health and welfare pre and post vaccination
  • complete paperwork correctly to meet legal requirements for record keeping
  • set traps and carry out a field survey
Published 24 March 2015
Last updated 13 November 2017 + show all updates
  1. Content updated to show training modules to trap and vaccinate badgers for BEVS 2
  2. Update on course availability
  3. First published.