No country in the world has solved bTB without first addressing it in the wildlife population.
Of course, that isn’t true – and you don’t need to travel very far to see some strong evidence against it. In 1938, we slaughtered 47,476 cattle with bTB here in England; in 1979, the total was just 628, without any culling of the wildlife population. An outbreak in North West England in the 1970s was also eliminated in the cattle without harming wildlife.
Intensive farming increases the incidence of bTB, and the trend in that direction since the war has been a continuous one. The consequences of cramming more animals into the space available, and in poor conditions, can only be detrimental to their health and increase the prevalence of bTB. Despite all the commotion about a recent rise in bTB in England, only 270 new incidences were reported in herds across the country in the month of March 2013. If we look at the history of the disease there are fluctuations so that number isn’t surprising.
The level of infection won’t stay the same every year, especially when there is a significant increase in testing, as occurred in 2012 when 11,146 more tests were carried out than in 2011. An increase in numbers is inevitable. Why is the APT not being calculated? Unfortunately it’s very easy – and tempting – to exaggerate the increase in bTB in order to justify a badger cull when you’re set on the idea.
So far, 97,733 badgers have been culled in Ireland, yet the incidence of bTB is still at the same rate. Ireland is supposed to keep the Bern Convention up to date with the requested yearly figures; in fact the information was last submitted in 2001.
This shows the British government’s claim and interpretation of the 50% drop in BTB cases in numbers in Ireland - cherry picking random high and low points in an attempt to prove a claim, will not wash - SEE BELOW
This shows a scientist's view of the drop - i.e. no change.
This graph shows how the incidence of bTB actually fell in the 1960's before culling started. Figures are presented by the government as following a downward trend when, in fact, the number of bTB cases have actually fluctuated over the period in question.
bTB dropped in Ireland before culling, and government figures to back culling badgers are misleading. They took a high incidence point in the history of bTB compared to a low point, to greatly exaggerate a drop.
In 1958, 160,000 cattle had bTB and in 1979 less than 20,000, however, no badgers were killed.
In 2012, the Irish government spent almost €34,000,000 in its programme to control Bovine TB in the Republic of Ireland. A tenth of this (€3.4 million) was spent on culling almost 7,000 badgers. After all this slaughter, only 55 fewer cattle were diagnosed with bovine TB compared to 2011. That’s an expenditure of almost €500 euros per badger or almost €62,000 for every cow below 2011’s figures. Ireland has culled over 96,000 badgers since 1985 and yet they have not eradicated bovine TB.
This campaign has resulted in the population of badgers being greatly reduced over large areas of the Irish countryside and may lead to local extinctions (49). The loss of badgers is a disaster on an ecosystem level, as they are known to play an important role in temperate ecosystems, acting as engineers, seed dispersers and predators (47).
The culling of over 57,000 badgers between 2003 and 2012 coincided with a reduction in animal disease incidence by 1%. However, to say that this reduction can be put down to badger culling is misleading as a number of things happened over this period that would have been expected to reduce bTB.
Over the period 2004-2011:
- · National herd down by 16.7%.
- · Number of herds down 6.7%.
- · Number of tests per head of cattle population up 13.5%
IFN-γ test used increasingly more often (50).
Since the year 2000, the numbers of samples submitted to laboratories have increased yearly and over 12,000 samples are now tested annually. This test is much more accurate than the interferon skin test and an increase in its use will only have improved the situation.
- · Anamnestic ELISA test used increasingly more often (50)
- · Introduction of Reaction Herd Management System (50).
The badger culling programme went national in Ireland in 2003-2004, but badger culling had already been on an upward trend prior to this.
The Irish badger culling trials - the East Offaly and Four Area projects, demonstrated a reduction in confirmed TB herd restrictions following badger culling (50,51,52). Both projects incorporated natural barriers and removal buffers in their study designs in order to reduce the movements of migrant badgers (53,54,55).
The effectiveness of the barriers varied greatly, with the open sea and large rivers being found to significantly affect badger movements (47). The rapid migration of badgers from neighbouring social groups that have been observed in English studies following population reduction (56,57,58,59 & 60) were not observed in the East Offaly project (61). These barriers may have been important in reducing badger movements in and out of the study sites and therefore may have influenced the likelihood of observing the perturbation effect that has been such a vital element in the RBCT badger culling trials in the South West of England (62,63 & 64).
Other studies in Ireland have shown that when badger population densities are reduced through culling, there is a breakdown in normal badger territoriality with a change in frontier latrine patterns and an increase in detected movements (65).
The differences in the badger populations between Ireland and England make comparisons between studies difficult. Nowhere else in Europe are badger social group sizes as large as those in the South West of England (47,66). The mean group size is known to be larger in England than Ireland (49). There is also a significant difference in the estimated badger population density between Britain and Ireland, with reported national numbers of 3.2 badgers per km2 in Britain, and 1.9 badgers per km2 in Ireland (62,65).
Differences also exist between the capture methods employed in the different trials in Ireland and England. The Irish studies employed stop restraint snares. While stop restraint snares are less efficient than cages at catching younger badgers, they are overall thought to be more efficient than cages (67). For example, a study on red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Spain showed that restraints are more efficient at capturing wild animals compared to cages (68). Trapping efficiency is significant when considering perturbation as evidenced in the East Offaly study. Where partial removal (approx. 50%) was observed, there was a fivefold increase in herd incidences of bTB (61).
The increase in TB reactors in the UK over the last year - which was being used by Owen Paterson MP to justify the proposed culls in 2013 - may be partially explained by the increase in testing over the same period. Between 1988-1990, the amount of testing in Ireland increased by over a million. The peaks in the number of TB reactors in 1989 and 1990 (TB reactors increased by 11,425) have been directly attributed to the increase in testing (69). In England, 11,146 more tests were carried out in 2012 compared to 2011 and this would also be expected to result in a higher TB reactor figure in 2012.
These graphs clearly show the amount of cattle slaughtered after a skin test, and show both peaks and troughs throughout each year. To prevent the creation of any variations, badgers were not culled during this time. 22% of all new confirmed TB cases in cattle were first discovered at slaughterhouses, where the animals were supposedly coming from "TB-free" herds.
In many cases, milk from diseased cattle was not successfully kept out of the human food chain.
Defra acknowledged many pitfalls in the system and say there is no practical way to enforce the leaving of [infected] pastures vacant for 60 days on a routine basis:
"Enforcement of animal disease control policies is fragmented across a number of bodies and weaknesses have been identified, particularly in relation to co-ordination between AHVLA and the local authorities.”
It is incredible that if bTB is found within a farm herd, the neighbouring farms are not informed. We seem to have learnt very little from the foot-and-mouth epidemic and its rapid spread:
"The delivery of the programme is being undermined at present by resource constraints (particularly in local authorities) and inefficiencies caused by the delayed roll out of the new TB software."
All of these factors need to be dealt with prior to any consideration in relation to badgers.
In Ireland, recent research published in 2012 showed that cattle outbreaks on neighbouring farms were caused by strains that were not identical, clearly showing that badgers were not the cause. The cattle were from different sources as was the bTB (34).
In the 1970s, an outbreak of bTB in North West England was eliminated by the slaughter of cattle and restrictions to their movements (sounds familiar!). Had the disease been maintained by badgers, the problem could not have been solved without their removal. Badgers were not targeted yet the area was soon declared free of infection.
Research from Durham University released in 2013 has confirmed that badgers are not major players in the transfer of bTB. Professor Peter Atkins of Durham University has stated:
“It is very probable that other animals did, and do carry TB, including badgers and deer, but cattle-to-cattle transfer is likely also to be an important factor. For example, only one out of nearly 400 badgers killed in road accidents in Cheshire over two decades tested for the disease turned out to be positive. This goes against received wisdom that bTB would have stayed in badgers which obviously weren’t culled when the cattle were in previous decades, and they then re-infected cattle stocks. But this interspecies transference seems unlikely to have occurred on the necessary scale.
Furthermore, no one has yet proved definitively which direction the infection travels between species. The RBCT (Randomised Badger Culling Trial), which ran from 1998 to 2006, indicated complex, interwoven patterns of infection, and concluded badger culling was unlikely to be effective for the future control of bTB.” (21)
Prof. Atkins believes that bTB in badgers is a spill-over disease from cattle, rather than an endemic condition, and probably does not persist over lengthy periods. He contends that a cull could even exacerbate the problem (22).
Prof. Atkins has also said:
“Bovine tuberculosis was completely eliminated from Cheshire, and from the counties which do have badger populations. That elimination took place in the 1950s and what you’d expect according to the traditional badger ecology is that bovine tuberculosis would have stayed in the badgers – which obviously weren’t culled at that time – if there is an association between the two species, but the road traffic accident data shows that wasn’t the case; in fact only one animal out of, I think it’s 400, that were collected over two decades in Cheshire was infected with the disease, which doesn’t suggest it was endemic in that particular county.”
“Farms needed to restock after foot-and-mouth with fresh animals, and most often they bought those animals from the dairy rich southwest. Keeping cows in calf for their milk means this is a traditional cattle breeding area; so in County Durham, for instance, where quite a lot of cattle were slaughtered as a result of foot-and-mouth disease, cattle were brought in and it’s been shown that actually on several occasions, those cattle brought bovine tuberculosis with them into areas which previously hadn’t had it, so this was rather ironic. Almost certainly a proportion of the increase in bovine tuberculosis after 2001 is the result of that restocking after foot-and-mouth disease. I think that the ecology of the assumption that badgers are always responsible for the cattle disease has got to be reviewed.”
Our biosecurity is extremely poor. In 2011, the European Commission considered our biosecurity practices in farming so dismal that it threatened to withdraw the £32 million annual funding (12) to combat bTB. That move saw Jim Pace (the then minister) hot footing it to Brussels to plead our case. He promised more rigorous biosecurity in return for the funding, but very little has changed. The EU confirmed the money was to eradicate bTb but no money was given for culling badgers.
In New Zealand, more than 100,000 possums were killed in an attempt to stop the spread of bTB, and it was only when the farming community was subjected to very strict biosecurity regulations, and very tight restrictions on the movement of cattle, that the number of cases of bTB actually dropped – by an astonishing 53% in deer and 58% in cattle. The farmers finally bought into the fact that they themselves were in control, and the country’s bTB issues have been fully resolved. In New Zealand, cattle farmers pay 55% of the costs involved, so it’s to their advantage to solve the problem of bTB in cattle. That isn’t the case here in the UK.
Dr Paul Livingstone, Technical Manager for the Animal Health Board (AHB) in New Zealand, has been researching, managing and controlling the bTB problem for more than 30 years. He explained how bovine TB was managed in New Zealand through the AHB, and outlined the main elements of the country’s control programme, which has successfully moved the prevalence rate in herds from a peak of 3.87% in 1994/5 to just 0.35% in 2008/9, despite the presence of wild animal TB vectors (possums):
“The programme has a clear strategy of cattle testing, movement controls and the culling of possums. The NZ TB programme costs around $88m (£34m), and cattle farmers pay 55% of this.
“Basically, farmers pay for all the cattle-related measures (testing, compensation etc.), and then they share the cost of the vector control programme (50% government, 40% farmers, 10% local councils). Farmers receive compensation at a rate of 65% of fair market value, although there is limited scope for this to increase to 100% for dairy cattle under certain circumstances, after this was agreed with the dairy farmers – because they have to pay!”
Free living ferrets (Mustela putoris) (80) have been found to be infected in several locations in New Zealand where their infections were considered to have arisen from cattle or deer (de Lisle et al., 1993). Subsequent studies have implicated ferrets as the possible source of infection for some outbreaks of tuberculosis in cattle in New Zealand, “Farmers have a significant say in the programme through the AHB, both at national level and through regional TB committees.” (Ragg et al., 1995). Dr Livingstone went on to say that the other main difference between the New Zealand and UK programmes is that the New Zealand’s farmers fund, are deeply involved in, all aspects of the TB programme. Representatives of the dairy, beef and deer industries, together with regional and central government, elect the directors to the AHB Board. All six directors are farmers or have farming connections. In comparison, from my understanding of the UK situation, farmers here don’t appear to want to be involved – and most especially don’t want to pay. Once farmers accept that they should pay, they can start having a say in the policy that is to be adopted. In New Zealand, it wasn’t until farmers started paying and taking responsibility for the programme that it started making progress. In New Zealand vaccinated cattle are slaughtered and go into the food chain, as does the milk from these cows.
In Michigan, North America, bTB was found to be more prevalent in areas where wild deer came to feed near cattle. Farmers often encourage deer as they are widely hunted for sport and licences bring a revenue stream. The cattle naturally infected the deer but once again, incidence of the disease only fell when cattle and deer stopped feeding together, and not as a result of the intensive culling of deer. Uptake had been low, with the farming community reluctant to remove deer from feeding with cattle in sheds and in the field, so feeding recreational deer was actually made illegal in the USA.
Some very large herds of deer (11) now dominate parts of South West England, where it’s clear there are several pockets of heavy infection (4). Unlike badgers, deer are stalked by wealthy landowners and their friends – a highly lucrative activity which, some tenant farmers complain, prevents them from controlling infected deer. One farmer told us that an immigrant Sika deer herd had spread bTB to his cattle herd. Many farmers are more concerned about deer than they are about badgers in the matter of bTB. Our government has chosen to ignore the farmers’ concerns, which is hardly surprising given that many of our government ministers own large estates in the region and deer stalking is very lucrative.
Switzerland eradicated bTB by slaughtering entire herds rather than single reactive cows, and has been officially free of the disease (OTF) since 1960 until early this year. The disease has been controlled solely by means of passive surveillance of abattoirs since 1980, although isolated cases, which are sometimes due to the reactivation of human M. bovis infections with subsequent transmission to cattle, have been observed in recent years (46). Just this year, (2013) a herd of cows was euthanised in the canton of Fribourg, after it was found that most were infected with bovine tuberculosis. The herd was tested after one cow became seriously ill last month.
Neuchâtel’s Department of Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs says the testing showed that the herd had “a high rate of infection” and decided to euthanise and incinerate all of the animals. The health officials say the high rate indicates that the tuberculosis was present for years, and that cows that tested negative were in fact carrying the infectious agent. This shows, once again, that M. bovis bacterium, which is the causative agent of the disease, can remain latent and undetected for many years.
In continental Europe, the overall spread of bTB is showing a slight increase; in percentage terms, both OTF and non-OTF countries have reported a small rise in the number of herds that are testing positive.
The movement of any livestock always brings the risk of disease – and this problem is exacerbated by the difficulty of identifying bTB infection in a herd. It’s scarcely any wonder that bTB is spreading! Current bTB eradication and control programmes in Europe face a range of challenges, especially given that whole-herd slaughter is now a less attractive option for economic reasons (20).
Bovine TB has been around for several hundred years, and has become more widespread here in the UK since the move towards more intensive cattle breeding and farming, which started in the 18th century and accelerated spectacularly during the second half of the 20th century. We believe the disease probably peaked in the mid- to late 19th century, when it may have been carried by as many as 80% of cattle in some counties. There are cattle on 81,000 holdings in Great Britain. Every year, there are an astonishing 13 million plus movements of these animals. Once again, a solution that involves no harm to wildlife is readily apparent; simply tightening and enforcing existing regulations on animal husbandry and transport would clearly result in a huge improvement in the health and wellbeing of livestock.
Despite several highly-contagious diseases amongst UK cattle, 40 per cent of all British cattle are moved annually; with over 13 million cattle movements taking place every year as farmers buy and sell stock. Closely mirroring the historical rise in bTB cases is the rise in cattle movements, with 480,294 more cattle moved in 2010 than 2009 (42). Cattle movements have more than quadrupled between 1999 (3,373,646) and 2010 (13,690,294) and have involved over 127 million animals since 1998 (42) (43).
Bovine TB is a farming disease, and must be solved, first and foremost by farmers. If they adopt the necessary biosecurity measures and restrictions, it will soon be eradicated. Both history and science have clearly shown that badgers are not to blame for bTB infection in herds. It is both impractical and pointless to make our wildlife suffer for the inadequacies of our farming methods. It is also, of course, extremely expensive and is therefore an appalling waste of money.
1. Bovine TB Time Line. Bovine TB Overview and Timeline
2. Randomised Badger Culling Trial. Final Report of the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) on Cattle TB. Read Report Here
3. Estimates of badger population sizes in the West Gloucestershire and West Somerset pilot areas. A report to Natural England - 22 February 2013. Read Report Here http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130822084033/
4. Estimating the risk of cattle exposure to tuberculosis posed by wild deer relative to badgers in England and Wales. Read Report Here
5.Statement from the European Commission regarding an article in the Mail On Sunday on 21 October. There is no EU financial support provided for the culling of badgers. http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/press_releases/2012/pr1245_en.htm
'The European Commission was disappointed to see an article by Brian May in the Mail on Sunday on 21 October which quotes Georg Haeusler, chief adviser to the European Commissioner for Agriculture. Some of the quotes are out of context or inaccurate - and therefore misleading.
Vaccination of cattle against TB is forbidden under current EU rules agreed by all Member States, including the UK. This is because there is no effective test to tell the difference between vaccinated and infected animals, making it impossible to protect the food chain and identify which animals could be exported.
If such a test were to be developed and approved at EU and international levels – which would take time – the rules could be changed relatively quickly. But Mr Haeusler explained that this would be the responsibility of the Health Commissioner, who deals with vaccination issues, and who could also advise on the exact process and timing in this case.
The Commission provides substantial financial support to the approved UK bovine TB eradication programme. For 2012, EUR 31.2 million were allocated to implement a rapid eradication strategy. There is no EU financial support provided for the culling of badgers.'
6.Parliamentary briefing paper - Science & Environment. Read Report Here or www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05873.pdf
7. The Cattle Book 2008 Descriptive statistics of cattle numbers in Great Britain on 1 June 2008: Density Maps. Read Report Here or http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb13572-cattlebook-2008-090804.pdf
8. European Commission Audit - audit was carried out in the UK from 5-16th September 2011. TB Eradication Programme. Read Report Here
9. Vaccination reduces the risk of unvaccinated badger cubs testing tuberculosis positive. Read Report Here
Vaccination reduces the risk of unvaccinated badger cubs testing tuberculosis positive
10. Conversation in the House of Lords where Lord Krebs and Lord Knight of Weymouth – Hansard. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/121023-0001.htm
11. 'Bovine tuberculosis infection in wild mammals in the South-West region of England: A survey of prevalence and a semi-quantitative assessment of the relative risks to cattle'. READ HERE
12. Final report of an audit carried out in the United Kingdom from 5th-16th September 2011 In order to evaluate the operation of the Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme. READ HERE
13. TB skin test questioned after false results. http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/05/02/2013/137488/tb-skin-test-questioned-after-false-results.htm#.URD1fq2kidE
14. Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Bovine TB - Key conclusions from the meeting of scientific experts. Held at Defra on 4th April 2011.
15. Illegal in the US to feed deer and cattle together for risk of bovine Tb transfer.
16. Scientist writes an open letter condemning the cull. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2012/oct/14/letters-observer
17. Despite no badgers having yet being killed under official sanction in Northern Ireland, as Ms O'Neill has acknowledged, the annual herd incidence has almost halved, from nearly 10% in 2002 to just over 5% on 30 September 2011. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ni/?id=2011-11-28.7.25
18. Cattle movements the most significant factor in spread of bovine TB.
19. Stress prevents immune systems from working. A 3rd more females (in buffalo adult females stressed out the yearling females) and links with human stats. http://www.krugerpark.co.za/krugerpark-times-2-21-buffalo-tb-21399.html
20. Bovine tuberculosis in Europe from the perspective of an officially tuberculosis free country: trade, surveillance and diagnostics. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21439740
21. Durham University Paper. READ HERE
22. Recording of Professor Atkins from Durham University http://ihrrblog.org/2013/02/14/bovine-tb-risk-in-britain-past-and-present
23. Police don’t want to police this, too expensive. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/wildlife/article3706318.ece
24. Herd size is a known risk factor for bTB (Denny and Wilesmith 1999, Olea-Popelka and others 2004, Reilly and Courtenay 2007); accordingly, direct standardisation was used to adjust for varying herd size (Dohoo et al., 2003). (Abernethy et al., 2013)
25. Slaughter Detection and pre movement Testing in Oreland. http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/biennial%20report%20200809%20bovine%20tuberculosis.pdf
26.Four Area Project. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3113914/
27. Where is this?
28 . History of bTB – Defra. http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/abouttb/index.htm
29. HOUSE OF COMMONS. ORAL EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, BOVINE TB VACCINATION, TUESDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2013, BERNARD VAN GOETHEM, FRANCISCO REVIRIEGO, KOEN VAN DYCK AND JACQUELINE MINOR. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenvfru/uc981-ii/uc98101.htm
30. Incidents of M. bovis infection in non-bovine domestic animals & wild deer in GB confirmed by laboratory culture. http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/documents/tb-otherspecies.pdf
31. Lord Krebs, who ran a ten-year review into whether culling could control bovine tuberculosis, said that the Government’s estimates had varied so wildly that under the previous target farmers would have been asked to shoot 144 per cent of the badgers in Gloucestershire. He said “To me what it says is that the practicality of killing 70 per cent is one question but the real question is how do they know what their starting number is?” http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/wildlife/article3703610.ece
32. Professor Robbie McDonald, an author of the paper and now at the University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute, said: "This striking result in cubs shows a protective effect at the social group level and is important evidence that vaccination not only has a direct benefit to vaccinated badgers, but can also reduce the infectivity of TB within a badger social group that has been vaccinated."
33. World Health Organisation description of TB and how it is transmitted.
34. Neigbouring farms have different bTB.
35. End ban on hunting with dogs, urges Tory Environment Minister: Paterson makes his views clear on controversial subject.
36. In Wales the government have caged, trapped and vaccinated over 1,400 badgers. Evidence from a four year field study (9) shows that BCG vaccinations in badgers reduces the risk of infection to cubs. It is possible to vaccinate. It will not make matters worse and evidence to date suggest it has a positive effect. Myself and Brian May met with Christianne Glossop (Chief Vet of Wales) in London last month to discuss successes and failures of the vaccination program and how we may work with them on this project to improve and support it to its conclusion.
37. Defra graphs on bTB showing increase after foot and mouth http://www.defra.gov.uk/statistics/files/defra-stats-foodfarm-landuselivestock-tb-statsnotice-120403.pdf
38. Conservative Animal Welfare - Statement on bTB. http://www.conservativeanimalwelfare.co.uk/page/20/
40. Deep divisions in the badger cull. http://catbrainsite.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/deep-divisions-in-british-society-over-badger-cull/
41. ORAL VACCINE TELEGRAPH. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7996663/Oral-TB-vaccine-may-prevent-need-for-badger-cull.html
42. British cattle are moved annually; with over 13 million cattle movements. http://rpa.defra.gov.uk/rpa/index.nsf/UIMenu/C2268E828EFED0B280256FE300347A0C?Opendocument
43. Closely mirroring the historical rise in bTB cases is the rise in cattle movements, with 480,294 more cattle moved in 2010 than 2009 Cattle movements have more than quadrupled between 1999 (3,373,646) and 2010 (13,690,294) and have involved over 127million animals since 1998. http://rpa.defra.gov.uk/rpa/index.nsf/vContentByTaxonomy/BCMS**Statistics**2010%20Statistics**?OpenDocument
44. Oral vaccine Eamonn Gormley. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7996663/Oral-TB-vaccine-may-prevent-need-for-badger-cull.html
45. Details on Eamonn Gormley. http://www.ucd.ie/research/people/veterinarymedicine/dreamonngormley/
46. Swiss herd shown that BTB was endemic in herd and had been present for several years. http://worldradio.ch/wrs/news/wrsnews/cows-infected-with-bovine-tb-culled.shtml?35284
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48. Man shot while hunting rabbits . Fell on his gun SHROPSHIRE. http://news.sky.com/story/1075232/rabbit-hunter-shot-dead-in-tragic-accident
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64. Woodroffe, R. et al., (2006). Effects of Culling on Badger Meles meles Spatial Organization: Implications for the Control of Bovine Tuberculosis. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43(1), pp. 1-10.
65. Sleeman, D. P. et al., (2009a). The effectiveness of barriers to badger (Meles meles) immigration in the Irish Four Area project. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 55(3), pp. 267-278.
66. Roper, T. J., (2010). Badger. 1st ed. London : Harper Collins.
67. Byrne, A. W. et al., (2012c). Population Estimation and Trappability of the European Badger (Meles meles) Implications for Tuberculosis Management. Plos One, 7(12), pp. 1-11.
68. Munoz–Igualada J, Shivik JA, Domınguez FG, Lara J, Gonzalez LM (2008). Evaluation of cage–traps and cable restraint devices to capture red foxes in Spain. J Wildl Manage 72: 830–836.
69. O’Flaherty, J., (2008). Value for Money and Policy Review Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme. 1996–2006. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/publications/2008/valueformoneyandpolicyreviewbovinetuberculosiseradicationprogramme1996-2006/
70. Farming after foot and Mouth. http://www.tbfreeengland.uk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/RP01-67.pdf
71. 81%of the population are against the proposed culling of Badgers (Bow Group research 2012). http://www.bowgroup.org/policy/bow-group-urges-government-scrap-badger-cull-plans
72. The Citizen newspaper poll found 90.2% were against the cull (4 Oct 2012).
73. Control of Bovine (bTB ) Cattle Biosecurity - Part 5 NFU Southwest http://www.southwest-tbadvice.co.uk/uploads/TB_Bulletin_5-Cattle_Bio-security_30_11_10.pdf
74. BTB remains in slurry for up to two years. M. bovis is expected to persist in slurry-treated soil for up to two years http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2710499/
75. M. bovis is expected to persist in slurry-treated soil for up to two years. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2710499/#R61
76. Bovine TB : a review of badger to cattle transmission. http://www.dardni.gov.uk/afbi-literature-review-tb-review-badger-to-cattle-transmission.pdf
77. 22% of new bTB cattle detected at slaughter. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/oct/05/badger-cull-tb-cattle
78. TB Vaccination of Badgers www.bacvi.org.uk
79. The use of dogs and Defra. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69586/pb13716-shooting-guidance.pd
80 .Cattle bTB and ferrets, 4 out of 80 foxes had btB. http://www.bovinetb.info/docs/johngallt_b_review9-04.pd
81. Paul R. Torgerson and David J. Torgerson stated in their paper ‘Public health and bovine tuberculosis: what’s all the fuss about?' READ HERE