Thursday, 10 October 2019

Badger culls risk increased spread of TB to cattle, study finds

9 October 2019

Culling badgers drives them to roam further afield, allowing them to disperse tuberculosis over a larger area, new research suggests.

The culls might thus increase the risk of TB spreading to cattle, the scientists behind the study warn.

The government commissioned its own review of the culls, but has yet to respond to the recommendations.

The review urged the government to explore alternative approaches to culling.

It was led by zoologist Sir Charles Godfray, from Oxford University.

The government said its own research indicated that the culls were working.

Co-author Rosie Woodroffe, from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), said the results backed the scientific consensus that culling will - at best - slow the spread of TB only to a modest extent.

Additionally, it could potentially accelerate infection.

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