Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Badger culls must be based on sound science, researchers say

12.08.2005


Researchers have urged policy makers to field test any new strategy to control the spread of TB between badgers and cattle. The recommendation comes in a new study published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology that reveals evidence of a close spatial association between bovine tuberculosis (TB) in badgers and cattle.



Using data from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial, Dr Rosie Woodroffe and colleagues from the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB looked at local geographical associations between TB (Mycobacterium bovis) infection in badgers and cattle. They found that TB infection occurs in clusters in both badgers and cattle and these clusters are spatially associated on a scale of 1-2 km.

The study found that most TB-infected badgers are caught within 1km of infected cattle herds, while uninfected badgers live further from infected cattle, and that badgers and cattle carrying the same strain of TB live especially close together. “This suggests that TB is indeed transmitted between the two species - but this could be because cattle give TB to badgers, as well as badgers giving TB to cattle,” the authors say.


As well as providing the first evidence for the spatial association of TB infection in badgers and cattle at this scale, the results offer important insights into the kind of ecological evidence that needs to be gathered for effective TB control strategies to be developed in what continues to be a controversial field.

The close association of cattle and badger TB infection found by this study could lead to the suggestion that localised badger culling should reduce the risk of TB infection in cattle, yet experimental reactive culls have not been effective. “Curiously, the research suggests that past policies of culling badgers living close to infected cattle might have been expected to work - yet TB incidence in cattle rose when these policies were in place and a more recent experiment showed only negative effects of such reactive culls. This could be because culling may have disrupted clusters of infection in badger social groups, spreading the disease over wider areas. This difference between the expected effect of a culling policy and its actual effect means that policy makers must field test any new policy before applying it nationally,” the authors say.

Becky Allen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>