A campaign to tackle bovine tuberculosis has started this week as volunteers work to vaccinate badgers.
The Sussex Badger Vaccination Project (SBVP) spent last week pre-baiting and setting badger traps to catch the animals and vaccinate them against the disease.
Badgers have been linked to the spread of TB in cattle. In other parts of the country there has been trial culls in an attempt to stop the problem.
Trevor Weeks, of the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service, believes the vaccination programme will be “more sustainable” than culling.
Mr Weeks said: “Initially we are concentrating on the southern part of East Sussex between Eastbourne and Brighton – heading up to the A27.
“There have been recurring TB outbreaks and it is classed as a high risk area by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, so we are quite keen to work with landowners.
“We hope this is going to make a huge difference and we know it is a very positive thing.
“The public is behind vaccination work, it is good for the cattle, good for the badgers and good for the public.
“We now have four sites we will be working on and we hope over the next five years we can roll this out further afield.”
Volunteers have been putting peanuts in traps so badgers become used to the cages before the full rollout later this month.
Kat Edmonds, SBVP project director, said: “This is great news for Sussex’s badgers and cattle.
“Bovine tuberculosis is a huge problem for farmers and this is a positive way forward to fight against it.”
The SBVP received funding from International Animal Rescue and the Southdowns Badger group to pay for the training for five volunteer vaccinators.
For more information, to get involved or to donate visit www.sussexbadgervac.co.uk.