BADGERS in Oxfordshire are set to be vaccinated against TB in an attempt to prevent controversial culls being introduced in the county.

Working with local farmers, volunteers at Oxfordshire Badger Group (OBG) are raising funds for a new initiative in which they hope to humanely trap badgers overnight before vaccinating and releasing them.

Beginning in a 15 square kilometre area, the exact location of which cannot be publicised, the first part of the vaccination project will start in February or March and last four years.

It comes after Oxfordshire narrowly avoided being included in the latest badger culling plans announced by the Government in September.

Thousands of animals have been shot in neighbouring Gloucestershire since the cull began there in 2013 in an attempt to stop the spread of bovine TB to cattle and eradicate the disease.

Oxfordshire Badger Group claim administering a 'Badger BCG Vaccine' is cheaper and more humane than culling and has no known negative impact on the creatures.

It's being backed by young Appleton-based wildlife photographer Alex White whose mum, Debbie White, is leading the project.

She said: "Vaccinating badgers in Oxfordshire is an exciting opportunity for a local badger group to create a locally protected population.

"This can be an important measure in the Government strategy to eradicate bTB."

The vaccination project is following in the footsteps of wildlife campaigners elsewhere.

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust's own programme has vaccinated hundreds of badgers in the past 6 years, with 200 in 2018 alone.

As part of the project, OBG will be applying to DEFRA for funding, but that needs to be matched with contributions from the local community.

A crowdfunding campaign has been started in an attempt to raise £5,000 to launch the project.

The group is reported to be halfway towards its target, having received £1,500 from the Badger Trust.

It said £5 will pay for a set of gloves and mask, £10 for a box of syringes or enough peanuts for one sett (over four years they expect to get through £1,200 worth of peanuts), £35 for one dose of vaccine, £80 for a badger cage and £400 for a vaccine storage fridge.

Members were out on Sunday mapping setts in readiness for vaccination and further sett surveying trips are planned.

The group will also have a stall in the Lush store at the Westgate, Oxford this Saturday, with the aim of raising awareness of the project.

For more information go to or email Debbie at