DEFRA does not hold in storage any cage traps for catching badgers. The traps that were used during the randomised badger culling trial have been disposed of.
The Central Science Laboratory (an agency of DEFRA) holds over 600 badger cage traps which are being used as part of DEFRA-funded research.
Surveys of badger populations in Great Britain were undertaken in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. In the mid-1980s the badger population was estimated to be 250,000 and in the mid-1990s a survey estimated the population had increased by 77 per cent.
DEFRA is not aware of any national surveys which have attempted to estimate badger populations in England and Wales.
Vaccination evokes an immune response to prevent an uninfected animal from contracting the disease. The effect of Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccination on already TB-infected badgers is unknown, but work is under way to determine this. It may have no effect, may delay or reduce excretion of TB bacilli, but is not expected to have any adverse effect.
Ecologists have advised that the turnover in a badger population is 30 per cent. per annum and modelling has shown that in a relatively short timescale there would be a mostly naïve uninfected population in which vaccine would become more effective.