Conclusions/Significance

Our findings show that the reductions in cattle TB incidence achieved by repeated badger culling were not sustained in the long term after culling ended and did not offset the financial costs of culling. These results, combined with evaluation of alternative culling methods, suggest that badger culling is unlikely to contribute effectively to the control of cattle TB in Britain.

The above is the conclusion of this report “The Duration of the Effects of Repeated Widespread Badger Culling on Cattle Tuberculosis Following the Cessation of Culling” by Helen E. Jenkins (1), Rosie Woodroffe (2), Christl A. Donnelly(1).

  1. Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
  2. Institute of Zoology, London, United Kingdom

news_badgerThe Guardian reported

Badger culling is unlikely to halt the spread of tuberculosis in British cattle herds, according to a survey of disease in regions where culls were trialled. Widespread and repeated culls reduced the numbers of infected cattle, but the disease returned to its original level four years after the programme ended, scientists found. Managing badger populations to stop them spreading TB to cattle cost more than the impact of the disease, researchers from Imperial College and the Zoological Society of London said.

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