Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Killing badgers aids spread of bovine TBToday, Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw has announced the suspension of badger culling in areas geographically close to recent cattle TB outbreaks on particular premises.
This is because the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB which designed, and now monitors, trials that are comparing the effectiveness of different intervention strategies has found that there is a 27% increase in the number of cases of bovine TB (breakdowns) in (reactive) culling areas compared to the related survey-only areas where no badger culling took place.
It is known that badgers can carry TB but it appears increasingly likely that any failure to kill all of the badgers in a sett when culling in an infected area actually aids dispersal of the disease.
Although previously uinmentionable, the roles of cow-to-cow infections, farm hygiene and movements of infected cows between farms in tackling bovine TB are increasingly having to be considered...
Posted 5:20 pm by Matt Prescott