Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Change way we test and house cattle to control bovine TB, says new research

Cattle testing, not badger culling will beat TB say researchers

According to new research, the culling of badgers will potentially reduce the number of Bovine TB infected cattle by just 12 out of a herd of 15,000.

However, reducing the interval between TB tests on cattle by one month could reduce the number of sick cattle by 193.

The Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) research found that regular and frequent testing of cattle could eventually lead to the eradication of the disease, whether or not badgers were culled, and despite the current test being at most 80 per cent accurate.

Badger culling alone, however, did not lead to TB eradication in the study and is therefore thought unlikely to be a successful control strategy.

The model also suggested that housing cattle in large sheds over winter could potentially double the number of infected animals in a herd, because under such conditions there is a much greater chance of TB being passed between cows.

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