/ Badger Cull - what's it all about?

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toad - on 25 Oct 2012
There's some breathtaking ignorance from MPs in the debate in parliament ATM, so here's a quick question:

Do you actually know the purpose of the two recently postponed badger cull pilots? If you haven't been paying attention, you might be suprised, and several MPs obviously don't

Just s strawpoll - no googling! and I guess if you do know, don't say just yet
mattrm - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:

It's TB isn't it? Badgers are accused of spreading it to livestock (cows mainly???). No googling there.

My gut feeling is that it's probably a bad idea. However there's every chance that it's one of those problems that we (humanity) seem to run into when trying to raise large amounts of animals/crops, i.e. that what we want to do conflicts with what happens in nature. Also the method of the cull, just going around (basically) guns blazing (cause it's cheaper) seems like a bad idea as well. IIRC, the cheapest method for the cull was the one that was selected.
subalpine - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: i hope there will be more 'final straws' where farmers give up cattle..
http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/25/10/2012/135907/Badger-cull-delay-is-final-straw-for-beef-farmer.htm
A Longleat Boulderer - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:

Control of spread of TB from badgers to cattle. It's a test to see whether reduced numbers of the former correlates to reduced instances of TB in the latter. Didn't google.
subalpine - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: making money? information gathering on miscreants?
Doug on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: test of 'free shooting' as a method ? -but with a sample size of 2 & no control(s)
subalpine - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Doug: i think all defras freeshooting moneymakers should be named and shamed (where's wikileaks when you need them?)
Skip - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
no idea what it is really all about

the excuse is to stop bovine TB, better animal husbandry and control of livestock movement would probably be more successful
Philip on 25 Oct 2012
As an aside.

Did you know they stopped immunizing children against TB (it was that painful jab at about 13 years old called BCG) in 2005. The reason was that it wasn't cost effective as TB infection had reduced so that where 94 immunizations prevented 1 case in 1953, it needed 12000 to have the same effect in 2005.

Apparently (source is a colleague who's wife is a GP) TB infections are on the increase, with immigration as the reason. According to the NHS, kids in high risk areas are still vaccinated - as surprisingly the high risk areas aren't rural dairy areas but inner city London.

Perhaps a cull of Londoners would help :-P
toad - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to A Longleat Boulderer:
> (In reply to toad)
>
> Control of spread of TB from badgers to cattle. It's a test to see whether reduced numbers of the former correlates to reduced instances of TB in the latter. Didn't google.

Well you might think so, and a suprising no. of MPs have said this in todays debate, but it isn't
thebigfriendlymoose - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip:

Farmers want to diversify into selling stripey fur hats. The NFU leader also really hated The Wind In The Willows.
subalpine - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip: cull of the moneymakers..
toad - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip: Yep, I had that - big watery blister afterwards. Interestingly, they had similar problems to cattle farmers- they did a reaction test first, but a +ive result couldn't tell if they had already been vaccinated, had a false positive, or TB, so every sprog that had a positive reaction got packed off to hospital for a chest x-ray
mkean - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
Is it a crackdown by the coalition on Labour MPs social activities?

:-)
mkean - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to mkean:
An attempt to prevent the production of another series of Bodger and Badger?
Ava Adore - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:

For a moment I wondered whether "Badger Cull" as a route.
toad - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: It's just to see if shooting badgers at night is as effective/ humane as the previous pilot methodology of trapping and shooting.

Nothing to do with testing the efficacy of the methodology in reducing TB, which is what at least 3 MPs supporting the cull have suggested it is about in the debate. If you are going to make a statement on the parliamentary record, you'd think you'd check your facts first.

I've sort of had parliament TV on in the background all PM and although there have been some interest points (on both sides), it's really quite poor, and the attendance is risible. And bloody Paterson (the Minister responsible for this particular brewery trip) wandered out half way through saying "I can't stand this". This is your aviary, you should really be there when the birds come home to roost
Jimbo W on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip:
> As an aside.
>
> Did you know they stopped immunizing children against TB (it was that painful jab at about 13 years old called BCG) in 2005. The reason was that it wasn't cost effective as TB infection had reduced so that where 94 immunizations prevented 1 case in 1953, it needed 12000 to have the same effect in 2005.
>
> Apparently (source is a colleague who's wife is a GP) TB infections are on the increase, with immigration as the reason. According to the NHS, kids in high risk areas are still vaccinated - as surprisingly the high risk areas aren't rural dairy areas but inner city London.
>
> Perhaps a cull of Londoners would help :-P

Different organism. Mycoplasma tuberculosis is the most common in humans, mycoplasm bovis in cattle. Although both can cause infection in the other, but at a lower frequency. You're right to recognise immigration as the reason for the recent increase in rates of TB, the other big factor being density of people. I would be very surprised if animal density were not a significant contributing factor, perhaps even more significant in limiting spread, than badgers.
Skip - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Philip)
> [...]
>
I would be very surprised if animal density were not a significant contributing factor, perhaps even more significant in limiting spread, than badgers.

As i said earlier. Of course we can't upset the poor farmers, or decrease the profits of the multinationals.
Jimbo W on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Skip:

> I would be very surprised if animal density were not a significant contributing factor, perhaps even more significant in limiting spread, than badgers.
>
> As i said earlier. Of course we can't upset the poor farmers, or decrease the profits of the multinationals.

Why blame them? What about all the people eating the meat and drinking milk?! There is no way that meat and milk could be provided at current rate using entirely non-intensive methods. I don't really think the farmers are to blame, and what pisses me off about the anti badger cull lot is that there are a heck of a lot of cows dying because of this disease (and our prevention of it). Cow's are animals too are they not?
TheDrunkenBakers - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to mkean:
> (In reply to mkean)
> An attempt to prevent the production of another series of Bodger and Badger?

So badgers produced a TV show about a tw*t and and his badger mate, I didnt know that.

Worthy cause, nontheless.

Skip - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Jimbo W:

I ain't arguing against prevention of/reduction on Bovine TB. I just don't believe that badgers are a primary or even significant cause. I think it's more likely animal density and intensive farming. Sure milk and meet couldn't be provided at the rate society thinks it needs it. There are however alternatives, but i think that's different debate.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Skip)
>
> [...]
>
> Why blame them? What about all the people eating the meat and drinking milk?! There is no way that meat and milk could be provided at current rate using entirely non-intensive methods. I don't really think the farmers are to blame, and what pisses me off about the anti badger cull lot is that there are a heck of a lot of cows dying because of this disease (and our prevention of it). Cow's are animals too are they not?

Agreed.

I love meat and drink much milk but you take the stuff so much for granted that yous sometimes forget where and how it is produced. Perhaps the best way to reduce the need to cull lies ultimately in the reduction of both for consumers.

This would mean, of course, that cow products become the preserve of the wealthy as costs go up due to demand and there would be uproar because cheap protein wasnt available. What's the alternative.

Then we start to look at, say, soy milk as an alternative and then we cut down forests and plant massive fields of the stuff, creating a homogenous crop which isnt good for insectivorious biodiversity and other problems are created.

Solve one problem, create another.

Im just glad i dont have to make the final decision.

toad - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: votes are in :That this House notes the e-petition on the planned badger cull, which has gathered more than 150,000 signatures; and calls on the Government to stop the cull and implement the more sustainable and humane solution of both a vaccination programme for badgers and cattle, along with improved testing and biosecurity

carried by 147 to 28, but non binding (ie it won't prevent a resheduled cull)
There was a lot of nonsense spoken in the house on both sides, though
mkean - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
There was a lot of nonsense spoken in the house on both sides, though

A lot of the debate just didn't make any sense, I think this summarises the main issues though.

http://tinyurl.com/p2tm
timjones - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to toad) i hope there will be more 'final straws' where farmers give up cattle..
> http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/25/10/2012/135907/Badger-cull-delay-is-final-straw-for-beef-farmer.htm

You're a lovely piece of work. I haven't got a clue what you do for living but I wouldn 't dream of wishing you suffered sufficient "final straws to have to give it up ;(
subalpine - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to timjones: it's a valid position to take. what's your excuse?
timjones - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to timjones) it's a valid position to take. what's your excuse?

Do I need an excuse?
subalpine - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to timjones: you need to justify your position (whatever that is)
timjones - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to timjones) you need to justify your position (whatever that is)

Do i really need to justify the belief that you shouldnn't wish misfortune on others?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Skip - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to timjones:

Things have to change sometimes. Meat farming (with the possible exception of poultry) is a very inefficient and environmentally damaging industry.
Philip on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Things have to change sometimes. Meat farming (with the possible exception of poultry) is a very inefficient and environmentally damaging industry.

Compared to what? Petrochemical, ceramics industry, metal production? Or just other farming.

Wonko The Sane - on 25 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip: What surprises me more are parents who don't allow their kids to be vaccinated because of the 'risks' because the disease being vaccinated against are so rare.

Talk about missing the point
timjones - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Things have to change sometimes. Meat farming (with the possible exception of poultry) is a very inefficient and environmentally damaging industry.

We could spend quite some time debating that but you're missing my point. You can hold that view without wishing misfortune upon the farmers who areengaged in an entirely legal business.

Minneconjou Sioux - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to timjones)
>
> Things have to change sometimes. Meat farming (with the possible exception of poultry) is a very inefficient and environmentally damaging industry.

Sooooo. Intensive poultry production is good, extensive lamb production is bad?

And your knowledge of this subject is based on what exactly?
thebrookster on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:
> >(In reply to Skip)
> >Things have to change sometimes. Meat farming (with the possible exception of poultry) is a very inefficient and environmentally damaging industry.
>
> Sooooo. Intensive poultry production is good, extensive lamb production is bad?

Where on earth did he suggest it was good?

He made the simple point that most meat farming is inefficient/damaging to the environment. He is perfectly correct there, it was for this very reason that MAFF asked all farmers to suspend meat farming and grow crops during WW2. He also suggests that poultry is quite likely to be more efficient.

I cannot see that he has suggested one is better than the other, simply that things need to change. In fact, he did not even mention intensive farming, YOU did!
Jimbo W on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to timjones:

> We could spend quite some time debating that but you're missing my point. You can hold that view without wishing misfortune upon the farmers who areengaged in an entirely legal business.

Quite agree. However I am interested in your views. TB in humans is clearly exacerbated by close living, and I'd be surprised if it were not also true of intensively farmed animals. I'm not sure higher efficiencies are necessarily a good idea. What do you think? And how do you see your future? Are you farming cattle?
nufkin - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Philip:
>
> Perhaps a cull of Londoners would help :-P

Wouldn't help - they'd just get replaced by incomers from neighbouring populations.
dissonance - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:
> (In reply to Philip) What surprises me more are parents who don't allow their kids to be vaccinated because of the 'risks' because the disease being vaccinated against are so rare.

it does make sense on an individual level though.
Most vaccines, very rarely (eg not the MMR crap) will have side effects and if everyone else does get vaccinated it makes it safe enough not to.
Problem is when lots of others make the same decision .

Skip - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:
> (In reply to Skip)
> [...]
>

>
> And your knowledge of this subject is based on what exactly?

1. Studying it as part of my dissertation for a degree in Environmental Resource Management.

2. Living and occasionally working on a sheep farm for 4 years.
Al Evans on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Philip) Yep, I had that - big watery blister afterwards. Interestingly, they had similar problems to cattle farmers- they did a reaction test first, but a +ive result couldn't tell if they had already been vaccinated, had a false positive, or TB, so every sprog that had a positive reaction got packed off to hospital for a chest x-ray

I got an immunity result from the initial test and didn't have to have the nasty one, mates were really jealous :-)
Wonko The Sane - on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Wonko The Sane)
> [...]
>
> it does make sense on an individual level though.
> Most vaccines, very rarely (eg not the MMR crap) will have side effects and if everyone else does get vaccinated it makes it safe enough not to.
> Problem is when lots of others make the same decision .

Stop it.
I just don't want a game theory discussion ;)
Jimbo W on 26 Oct 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

> I got an immunity result from the initial test and didn't have to have the nasty one, mates were really jealous :-)

Me too. The main test they use to identify cattle that are positive is exactly the same test. Positive reaction = culled, and a herd breakdown declared. They then carry out a PM to identify the presence of TB lesions or/and growth of the bug, which isn't easy. There will be undoubtedly a large number of animals culled which are immune, but not infected or infective. Better testing of cattle is really needed to find a more accurate way of picking up the disease in the live animal.
Wonko The Sane - on 26 Oct 2012
Minneconjou Sioux - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Skip:
> (In reply to Minneconjou Sioux)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> 1. Studying it as part of my dissertation for a degree in Environmental Resource Management.
>
> 2. Living and occasionally working on a sheep farm for 4 years.

Well, you've just failed because you have applied a broad, sweeping statement to a subject which requires a little more thought.

On what basis are you applying the efficiency measurement? When you exclude Poultry are you excluding it from inefficiency and/or environmentally damaging? How do you measure the environmental damage and compare to other farming practices?

To the other poster, the good/bad point was to illustrate how a broad statement like Skip's can be interpreted.
CarbonCopy on 27 Oct 2012
tonanf - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: would people really extinct an entire species of wild animal to protect a domesticated hyrid produt animal? it well bd world!
Moley on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to tonanf:
> (In reply to toad) would people really extinct an entire species of wild animal to protect a domesticated hyrid produt animal? it well bd world!

I didn't think anyone was trying to extinct an entire species, but rather to reduce badger population density in areas of dairy farming?

People can carry on arguing the theories for years (as they already have), my view is get on with the trials and see what happens, which will prove it one way or the other. Loss of a few badgers is hardly the end of the world, there's an estimated 50,000 killed on the roads every year and nobody is on here bleating about banning cars or badger proof fencing for every road in the country.
Nigel Thomson - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to subalpine)
> [...]
>
> Do i really need to justify the belief that you shouldnn't wish misfortune on others?

Well said.

Doug on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Moley: there have already been trials, they show that the cull won't achieve its objective
toad - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Moley:
> (In reply to tonanf)
> [...]
>
> I didn't think anyone was trying to extinct an entire species, but rather to reduce badger population density in areas of dairy farming?
>
> People can carry on arguing the theories for years (as they already have), my view is get on with the trials and see what happens, which will prove it one way or the other.


NO IT WON'T!


The whole point of this thread was to highlight the fact that this trial is not designed to/ CANNOT tell us anything about badger/cattle/Tb interaction. It's just to see if one method of killing badgers is as efficient as another way of killing badgers, and it isn't even well enough designed to do that

In fairness you aren't alone in this misconception. Half the contributors to the parliamentary debate didn't understand it, either

tonanf - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad: you started with the assertion that we wouldnt know the reason for the cull, and we didnt.

I was asking if we people would extinct an entire species because i see the logical progression of culling to control a disease for commercial purposes to be species eradication
Moley on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Moley)
> [...]
>
>
> NO IT WON'T!
>
>
> The whole point of this thread was to highlight the fact that this trial is not designed to/ CANNOT tell us anything about badger/cattle/Tb interaction. It's just to see if one method of killing badgers is as efficient as another way of killing badgers, and it isn't even well enough designed to do that
>
> In fairness you aren't alone in this misconception. Half the contributors to the parliamentary debate didn't understand it, either

So this is purely to work out how to kill badgers? Thought they had worked that out some time ago, there were people running training schemes in Wales about 2 years ago. I still think they should all stop faffing about and worrying about public opinion, run the trials and work from the results. With the amount of different "expert" views on all sides of the argument it seems to me nobody knows for sure - though everyone claims to know best.
I'm neither one side nor the other, but I would cull Brian May for sure!

Off for some fresh air now.

Doug on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Moley: "run the trials"

There have already been trials, although there is some debate about how to interpret the results (scientists vs politicians for the most part)
Rob Exile Ward on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Moley: Just a little anecdote: I was chatting to a retired vet a few weeks ago, and he was practically in tears at the delay to the badger culling, as he was convinced that it would massively reduce the incidence of bovine TB and also the stress and hardship caused to his farmer customers.
toad - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: I know a couple of youngish vets who used to do farm animal work - They're very disillusioned with as it's effectively about statisitical analysis of overall herd health. No scope for treatment of individual animals. If there is a vetenary issue, you treat the whole herd, if an individual animal has a problem, cull it out rather than treat. May just have been they were working in large businesses, but they seemed to think that modern farm practice actually precludes caring overly for animals. One has moved to an equine/ small animal practice and the other into teaching
Moley on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to Moley) Just a little anecdote: I was chatting to a retired vet a few weeks ago, and he was practically in tears at the delay to the badger culling, as he was convinced that it would massively reduce the incidence of bovine TB and also the stress and hardship caused to his farmer customers.

I too have talked to many (dairy) farmers in mid Wales who have been crucified by TB in their herds, all in high density badger population areas. From personal experience of living in the area for 25 years I would say the badger population has escalated enormously in this time and they are justified in wanting TB and it's causes sorted.

I have no particular love of badgers, they are an animal with no more "rights" than rats or rabbits (other than being on a protected list), and lowering the population density in some places would greatly benefit other animals which they prey on, irrelevant of TB.

I would like to see the cull go ahead, if it works carry on, if not think of something else. It's no big deal to kill a few badgers, they are hardly endangeed anymore with estimated 35,000 in Wales, and that's a lot of predators!
Minneconjou Sioux - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Rob Exile Ward) I know a couple of youngish vets who used to do farm animal work - They're very disillusioned with as it's effectively about statisitical analysis of overall herd health. No scope for treatment of individual animals. If there is a vetenary issue, you treat the whole herd, if an individual animal has a problem, cull it out rather than treat. May just have been they were working in large businesses, but they seemed to think that modern farm practice actually precludes caring overly for animals. One has moved to an equine/ small animal practice and the other into teaching

This is total and utter bollox. Your two friends probably couldn't stand the pace of large animal practice work. If you are trying to suggest that a farmer with an animal that has an injury or is ill will simply cull it rather than treat it then you are misleading everyone on this thread.
toad - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to Moley: Out of interest, what are the badger prey species you're concerned about? Mid wales is of course the elephant in the woodshed - no culling there, or likely to be.

FWIW, Badger protection legislation is a mess, far too high a level of protection than they warrant, but it was borne out of animal welfare issues, rather than conservation.

MC-S: I'm conflicted here. I know a lot of farmers - through work, family and history and they are of course like the rest of people - good, bad and indifferent. But I've never bought the farmer as guardian of the countryside thing- they are small businessmen with a sophisticated lobbying industry in the CLBA/NFU. Some animals they do really care about, but most are numbers on a spreadsheet. For most in the end, it's only about the bottom line.
Moley on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:
Mainly hedgehogs, which I am rather fond of. I would prefer 2 hedghogs in my garden than 2 badgers! Last estimate Wales 1995 - 145,000, maybe 50% decline since then, bet there are far less than badgers now.
Purely anecdotal, when we moved to Wales 25 years ago, there were hedghogs in the area (and our garden), as the badger population increased dramatically, so the hedghogs decreased and I saw the last hedgehog in my garden/village about 10 years ago. Only place I saw them lately was on the outskirts of towns (Newtown) - squashed on the road but at least there were some to squash!
We have now moved 40 miles South, with hardly any sign of badgers in the immediate area - but plenty of hedgehogs again, great.
I think they also have quite an impact on ground nesting birds on moorlands, or what is left of the nesting Curlew, Plover etc. I do wonder if they can take leverets as well, no reason why not?
Minneconjou Sioux - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:

Clearly there is a bottom line issue. But this is rarely the motivation for farming. If you look at the return on investment it is often lower than other opportunities. Remember it is also an asset rich, cash poor industry and cash is what people live off. I suspect that most dairy farmers would love to leave the badgers alone. But when the evidence (anecdotal or not) points to a connection between badgers and bovine TB and this threatens their viability then I, for one, can understand their motives.

I know farmers aren't necessarily the "guardians of the countryside" but neither are they as emotionless or calous as they are often portrayed.

Livestock farming, and especially large animals, requires a high level of empathy and concern for the stock for it to be viable. I know that there are rougues out there but these are the exception. That said there will be cases where the economics of vetinary care vs culling will play a part. You, however, imply that this is the default position and I would conest that.

Dominion - on 27 Oct 2012
In reply to toad:

> Do you actually know the purpose of the two recently postponed badger cull pilots?

I didn't, but now I am.

It's an absolute disgrace.


Can anyone here confirm that the Isle of Man has no badgers, but does have herds with TB?

If so, it's a total f*cking disgrace that badgers are being blamed as a cause of the spread of TB when an isolated island which is not going to have badgers wandering in from outside unless they've learned to swim huge distances still has bTB.


I'm not sure of the status of the Isle of Man, it appears in reality to be governed - when it comes right down to it - by the UK

Well, if it has no badgers, and has bTB, it seems a perfect place to find out exactly what farming practices are also spreading bTB

I've seen it mentioned that badgers are only thought to be responsible for 1 in 6 cases (16.6667 %) so the IOM seems an obvious testing ground for finding out what the more significant 83,333% of causes are.

I note the Dick Roper case of adding salt licks with added Selenium and vitamin E

Well, why not just do that in the IOM, and see whether bTB drops by a massive amount? That's really not going to be expensive, since we pay over 100million per year in compensation to farmers in the UK

There's a badger free environment already there to see whether that will make a difference.
Jimbo W on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Dominion:

> It's an absolute disgrace.

It really isn't as simple as you make out. Cattle will undoubtedly be able to pass it to other cattle, intensivity of farming and movement of cattle could contribute to spread. Badgers aren't the only vector, but they are the most abundant. However, there are different strains of bTB that can be identified by PCR based techniques. There is a clear measurable inter-relationship between different strains of bTB found in cows and those in badgers within a distinct geographical area. That argues pretty irrefutably that badgers and cows are at the very least passing bTB to each other one way or t'other or both. Of course, the question is which factor is predominant in exacerbating the extent of bTB in the southwest of England and Wales. I quite agree that killing any animal is not a pleasant prospect, but frankly, badgers really could be the most contributing factor to the increased rate of bTB amongst cattle in these areas. And that means cattle being culled. I think there would be no trial culls happening if it were not for the scrutiny of public opinion, moving rather to a more complete cull, which would probably be more effective. Whether a cull is really going to make a difference I don't know, I'm not sure I understand the statistical conclusions in the published RBCT, but the raw data didn't look all that convincing to my eye. However, badgers numbers are very large in the areas were bovine TB is highest in cattle. Something needs to be done about it. It really isn't pleasant to have to cull animals whether its badgers or cattle, but unless people are going to decide to eat alot less meat, which would of course be good, what would you suggest?
Doug on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Jimbo W: did you realy mean "I quite agree that killing any animal is not a pleasant prospect, but frankly, badgers really could be the most contributing factor to the increased rate of bTB amongst cattle in these areas. And that means cattle being culled." ?
Jimbo W on 28 Oct 2012
In reply to Doug:
> did you realy mean "I quite agree that killing any animal is not a pleasant prospect, but frankly, badgers really could be the most contributing factor to the increased rate of bTB amongst cattle in these areas. And that means cattle being culled." ?

I should have said "cattle are being culled". Or more precisely, if they react positively to the tuberculin test (you know the same one you had when you were a kid) then they get killed and they go on a post mortem hunt to see if they have any evidence of caseation necrosis and try to culture the TB bug, which isn't an easy bug to culture.

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