Find out what support is available under the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS), how to apply for it and how applications will be judged.
The Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (BEVS) is part of the government’s strategy to eradicate bovine TB from England. The scheme provides funding to contribute to the cost of vaccinating badgers with the BadgerBGC vaccine.
Funding is only available for projects in the ‘Edge Area’ of England, which border parts of the country with a high prevalence of TB in cattle herds. You will need to match any grant you receive from BEVS with funding from other sources.
To help you decide whether to apply for BEVS funding this guide to running a badger vaccination campaign explains how much time and resources you would need to commit to a campaign.
Who can apply for BEVS
You can apply for BEVS funding if you plan to run a badger vaccination campaign in the Edge Area, which includes parts of southern, central and north-west England.
The Edge Area covers all of the following counties:
And it includes parts of the following counties:
- East Sussex
You can check if you fall within the Edge Area by reading the complete list of parishes in the Edge Area.
Funding for existing projects under BEVS
Campaigns don’t have to be new. As long as they meet BEVS criteria you can apply for funding for projects that:
- are already underway
- have received other grants from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), eg projects that received awards from the Badger Vaccination Fund could also be funded by BEVS
If your project is already receiving a Defra grant, your BEVS application will need to explain:
- how much additional support you need
- why you need the support
- how specifically you will use the additional funding (eg to expand a project)
- how your existing project meets BEVS criteria
Support available under BEVS
You can bid for up to 50% of the eligible costs of a badger vaccination campaign, such as training in how to vaccinate and the purchase of some equipment. You will need to secure alternative funding to cover the rest of the cost of the campaign.
There is no minimum or maximum cash grant available under the scheme.
Costs that can be funded by your BEVS grant
You can only use your grant to cover costs directly related to the trapping and vaccinating of badgers in your vaccination area. Such costs include:
- the cost of equipment and tools required to carry out badger vaccination, eg syringes, needles, sprays, bait
- reasonable travel for anyone working on the vaccination campaign
- reasonable costs of recruiting, managing and training people working on the vaccination campaign
Salaries will only be funded in exceptional circumstances, for example a contribution may be made to the cost of a local co-ordinator if this is match funded from other sources.
Costs that can’t be funded by BEVS
You can’t use your grant to fund:
- any expenditure made before the date of your funding agreement
- large items of capital investment, eg buying a vehicle (although vehicle hire costs can be funded)
- the cost of preparing and submitting a BEVS application
Support available in addition to your grant
The government may also provide the following support to successful applicants, in addition to a grant:
- free loans of certain equipment that can be easily reused, such as traps and fridges
- BadgerBGC vaccine
- advice from field experts
Status of VAT under the scheme
You should take account of all VAT liabilities when you explain your budget in your application.
If you find you are able to recover VAT that you had budgeted to pay in your application, you will be liable to repay all or some of the amount recovered.
Defra won’t increase your grant if you are unable to recover VAT that you had expected to recover when you made your application.
How the application process works
The BEVS application process has 3 stages:
- Expressions of interest should be made by 27 January 2015, although you are encouraged to submit them earlier to begin discussing your bid.
- Full applications must be made by 27 February 2015.
- Defra intends to make decisions by 24 March 2015.
You should seek advice from Defra throughout the application process, in the first case by email.
You also need to discuss your plans with your nearest Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) office. AHVLA will be able to put you in touch with licensed vaccinators in your area.
How to involve local landowners
You should involve local landowners as early as possible during your application to make sure you will be able to carry out vaccination on their land.
You will need to sign land access agreements with local landowners as part of the application process. Contact the TB team at Defra if you would like to see a model land access agreement Defra has produced in consultation with the National Farmers’ Union and the CLA.
You should approach landowners to explain how your vaccination campaign would work, including:
- when the campaign would take place
- how often your volunteers would need access to their land during the campaign
- benefits to the landowner (the campaign should keep the area free of bovine TB and increase knowledge about badger activity in the area)
These documents may be useful when discussing the campaign with landowners:
- summary of BEVS for landowners
- research into the benefits of badger vaccination published in the Journal of the British Veterinary Association
Agree with landowners:
- how you will access the land, for example are there specific access routes for different parts of the property
- any parts of the property that you won’t be allowed to access
Ask supportive landowners for other assistance, for example if you can store traps or vaccine on their land. Landowners may also know about local badger activity or the location of setts.
What to include in an expression of interest
You can apply for BEVS directly, without submitting an expression of interest first.
An expression of interest may help you decide whether to continue with the application process, before you carry out detailed planning and commit resources to a campaign. If you do choose to submit an expression of interest, Defra will also provide feedback on how to improve your bid.
Expressions of interest should be sent via email and include the following:
- your name or the name of your group and, where relevant, the names of other consortium members
- your contact details
- size (in square kilometres) of the proposed vaccination area
- location of the proposed vaccination area, including either of the following:
- an Ordnance Survey (OS) grid reference for the central point of the area
- the name of an easily identifiable landmark in the area
- confirmation of access to land, or likely access to land, in the proposed vaccination area
- an estimate of the number of badgers or badger setts in the proposed vaccination area (this can be based on the results of the National Sett Survey)
- an estimate of the cost of the proposed vaccination campaign including:
- total cost
- cost per square kilometre per year
- an indication of how costs have been calculated
- steps being taken to ensure value for money
- details of how the proposal will be match funded by, or on behalf of, the applicant
- an overview of the proposed team, any relevant expertise in the team and an estimate of any training you will need
Defra may share information from your expression of interest with other applicants to encourage best practice and help nearby vaccination groups join up. Your expression of interest should confirm you are willing for your information to be shared with other applicants.
What to include in an application
To apply complete a BEVS. The . Your application will need to meet the following 6 criteria.
- Your vaccination area should be generally within the Edge Area of England.
- Your vaccination area should be at least around 15 square kilometres.
- You need to demonstrate commitment to vaccinate for a minimum of 4 years.
- You need to demonstrate your ability to carry out a vaccination campaign.
- You need to agree to accurately keep records and data.
- Your vaccination campaign should represent value for money.
How to show your vaccination is generally within the Edge Area
In your application explain the location of the vaccination area with:
- a map that clearly identifies the proposed vaccination area and its perimeter
- an OS grid reference for a suitable point at the centre of your vaccination area
- a description of the vaccination area, eg a summary of important natural features
Describe the land type and usage of the vaccination area, including:
- the percentage of the vaccination area that is farmland
- of the farmland, what percentage is:
- dairy farmland
- beef farmland
- farmland where other animals are kept
- arable farmland
State approximately what percentage of the vaccination area you will have access to, and approximately what percentage you won’t have access to.
You should aim for your proposed area to cover several neighbouring badger social groups and whole farm areas. If your vaccination area includes a farm, include the whole farm unless there is a compelling reason not to.
A small part of your vaccination area may fall outside the Edge Area if there is a logical reason, for example to cover an entire badger social group or farm. If this is the case, in your application:
- state what percentage of the total vaccination area is located within the Edge Area
- describe the land outside the Edge Area
- explain why you are including it in your vaccination area
How to show your vaccination area is at least around 15 square kilometres
In your application state:
- the size of the vaccination area in square kilometres
- if there is potential to increase the size of the area in future
How to show your commitment to vaccinate for a minimum of 4 years
In your application:
- state the proposed duration of the vaccination campaign
- explain how you will match BEVS funding throughout the 4 year period, including sources and amounts of funding
- explain your plans for personnel throughout the 4 year period
How to demonstrate your ability to carry out a vaccination campaign
In your application you will need to provide evidence that you are able to carry out a badger vaccination campaign. Specifically you need to show:
- land access agreements are in place giving you access to land in your vaccination area
- you have a licence from Natural England to trap badgers for the purpose of vaccination, or you are in the process of securing one (find out how to get a licence in the guide to vaccinating badgers)
- you have discussed your vaccination campaign with AHVLA veterinary officers and your application reflects their advice
- you have, or are in the process of securing, equipment to carry out vaccination such as:
- traps (Defra may be able to make traps available under BEVS, but you should still say how many traps you will need)
- equipment needed to administer the vaccine such as needles and syringes
- personal protective equipment
- you have a good understanding of badger activity within the vaccination area, including:
- any field surveys that have been undertaken
- the location of active badger setts
- estimates of badger numbers in the area, which can be based initially on sources such as the National Sett Survey
- a cage trapping plan that reflects what you know about badger activity in the area
- you have developed a work plan that includes as a minimum:
- the proposed dates for vaccination, including a start and finish date
- a description of the main tasks and responsibilities within your project
- key milestones for the campaign against which progress can be measured
- an estimate of your BadgerBCG requirement
- you have recruited, or are recruiting, personnel to carry out your vaccination campaign, including trained and certified lay vaccinators or vets
In your application you should also state:
- how many people will work on the campaign
- what percentage are volunteers and what percentage will be receiving salaries or working on contract
- how many people will need training and how many people will carry out training
- any experience of personnel that you have recruited that is relevant to the vaccination campaign
- how you plan to organise personnel to carry out your vaccination campaign, including how you will divide roles and responsibilities within the team
How to demonstrate your agreement to accurately keep records and data
As a condition of a badger vaccination licence, anyone carrying out a vaccination campaign has to keep detailed records. These record keeping requirements are explained in full in the guide to vaccinating badgers.
If you vaccinate under BEVS you will also have to:
- provide evidence of any expenditure eligible for grant payments, supported by invoices when necessary
- provide evidence that you are delivering your campaign against agreed milestones
- participate in annual reviews
- provide information on your vaccination operations including the number of badgers vaccinated, and for each badger trapped or re-trapped:
- the approximate age class
- the location of the trap
In your application you should include a statement that you accept the monitoring and recording requirements of the scheme.
How to demonstrate that your vaccination campaign represents value for money
In your application, set out:
- total anticipated costs
- equivalent cost per square kilometre per year
- a detailed breakdown of expected expenditure
You need to explain how these costs have been calculated, based on your understanding of the density of badger setts in the vaccination area. You should justify each cost and explain the steps you have taken to ensure value for money.
How Defra will make decisions on BEVS awards
A Defra-appointed panel will consider applications. The panel will include:
- the head of Defra’s TB Programme, or their nominee (this member will chair the panel and have a casting vote)
- a senior government vet
- other Defra staff as appropriate
The panel will use a scoring system to evaluate your application against the 6 criteria. For each criterion you will receive:
- 0 points if your application provides little or no evidence to support the criterion
- 1 point if your application contains gaps or doesn’t adequately demonstrate how you would meet the criterion
- 2 points if you cover all of the requirements listed under the criterion, but lack detail or evidence in some areas
- 3 points if you cover all of the requirements listed under the criterion in sufficient detail and support each requirement with appropriate and relevant evidence
The panel may seek advice from expert advisers including AHVLA and Natural England, but will make final decisions on awards.
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.
How applications of similar quality will be prioritised
If it’s necessary to rank bids of similar quality, 3 criteria will be used:
- vaccination campaigns that cover parts of the Edge Area with high cattle densities and proximity to outbreaks of bovine TB will be prioritised (see example maps)
- large vaccination areas, or areas with the potential to become larger over time, will be prioritised over applications to vaccinate in smaller areas
- areas where local knowledge indicates vaccination would be particularly beneficial will be prioritised
Local factors that could be taken into account include:
- location of badger setts and potential barriers to badger movement
- local TB epidemiology (how TB spreads in that particular area)
- location of cattle
You should work with your local AHVLA office during your application to develop your understanding of these factors.
What happens if your application is successful
You will be contacted by Defra to discuss next steps. You will also receive a Grant Funding Agreement setting out terms and conditions of the offer.
Your grant will be paid in installments. You will need to provide evidence of expenditure to keep receiving installments.
When your vaccination campaign will be reviewed
After the first year of vaccination the data you collected will be analysed to understand whether enough badgers have been vaccinated. Defra will discuss with you the level of effort that has gone into the campaign and any operational changes that need to be put in place for the second year.
After the second year of vaccination Defra will discuss with you whether the campaign has been, or shows potential to be, successful enough to justify further funding. Defra may need you to make changes to your campaign to continue receiving BEVS funding, such as committing more resources to the project.
Why grants could be withdrawn
Grant Agreements will include standard termination clauses.
Defra will consider terminating an agreement independently of the annual review process in some circumstances, for example if you:
- breach the terms and conditions of your agreement
- repeatedly fail to remedy inadequate performance
- are found guilty of certain offences
In extreme circumstances Defra may consider recovering grant.
Before taking a decision on ending or recovering a grant Defra will take in to account any factors:
- beyond your control
- you couldn’t have reasonably planned for
All grant offers will be compliant with Article 26 of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 702/2014 on State Aids which concerns aid for the costs of the prevention, control and eradication of animal diseases and plant pests and aid to make good the damage caused by animal diseases and plant pests.
Data protection, data sharing and Freedom of Information
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives people the right to know what data we hold on them, how Defra use it, with whom it is shared and for it to be accurate. Defra is the data controller in respect of any personal data that you provide as part of an application to BEVS. Defra will use applicants’ personal data for the purpose of processing and assessing applications. In submitting an application to Defra, applicants are agreeing for the information within it to be shared with other planned or in progress vaccination campaigns. This will help enable building of best practice and where appropriate sharing of resources.
Defra may be required to release information, including personal data and commercial information, on request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, Defra will not permit any unwarranted breach of confidentiality nor will Defra act in contravention of its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Defra or its appointed agents may use the name, address and other details in an application, and contact applicants in connection with occasional customer research aimed at improving the services that Defra provides. Defra’s Personal Information Charter, which gives details of your rights in respect of the handling of your personal data, is on the Defra section of GOV.UK.
If you believe that any of the information we hold concerning you is incorrect or out of date, please provide us with the accurate information in writing together with supporting evidence (if appropriate). You should email your correspondence to: email@example.com.