Impact of localized badger culling on tuberculosis incidence in British cattle

Christl Donnelly, Rosie Woodroffe, D.R. Cox, John Bourne, George Gettinby, Andrea Le Fevre, John P. McInerney, W. Ivan Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pathogens that are transmitted between wildlife, livestock and humans present major challenges for the protection of human and animal health, the economic sustainability of agriculture, and the conservation of wildlife. Mycobacterium bovis, the aetiological agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), is one such pathogen. The incidence of TB in cattle has increased substantially in parts of Great Britain in the past two decades, adversely affecting the livelihoods of cattle farmers and potentially increasing the risks of human exposure. The control of bovine TB in Great Britain is complicated by the involvement of wildlife, particularly badgers (Meles meles), which appear to sustain endemic infection and can transmit TB to cattle1. Between 1975 and 1997 over 20,000 badgers were culled as part of British TB control policy, generating conflict between conservation and farming interest groups2. Here we present results from a large-scale field trial3, 4, 5 that indicate that localized badger culling not only fails to control but also seems to increase TB incidence in cattle.
LanguageEnglish
Pages834-837
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume426
Issue number6968
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

Fingerprint

culling (animals)
badgers
tuberculosis
incidence
bovine tuberculosis
cattle
wildlife
economic sustainability
Meles meles
animal and human health
pathogens
Mycobacterium bovis
etiological agents
wildlife management
livelihood
livestock
farming systems
farmers
agriculture
infection

Keywords

  • badgers
  • tuberculosis
  • cattle
  • culling
  • disease

Cite this

Donnelly, C., Woodroffe, R., Cox, D. R., Bourne, J., Gettinby, G., Le Fevre, A., ... Morrison, W. I. (2003). Impact of localized badger culling on tuberculosis incidence in British cattle. Nature, 426(6968), 834-837. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02192
Donnelly, Christl ; Woodroffe, Rosie ; Cox, D.R. ; Bourne, John ; Gettinby, George ; Le Fevre, Andrea ; McInerney, John P. ; Morrison, W. Ivan. / Impact of localized badger culling on tuberculosis incidence in British cattle. In: Nature. 2003 ; Vol. 426, No. 6968. pp. 834-837.
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Donnelly, C, Woodroffe, R, Cox, DR, Bourne, J, Gettinby, G, Le Fevre, A, McInerney, JP & Morrison, WI 2003, 'Impact of localized badger culling on tuberculosis incidence in British cattle' Nature, vol. 426, no. 6968, pp. 834-837. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02192

Impact of localized badger culling on tuberculosis incidence in British cattle. / Donnelly, Christl; Woodroffe, Rosie; Cox, D.R.; Bourne, John; Gettinby, George; Le Fevre, Andrea; McInerney, John P.; Morrison, W. Ivan.

In: Nature, Vol. 426, No. 6968, 11.2003, p. 834-837.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Donnelly C, Woodroffe R, Cox DR, Bourne J, Gettinby G, Le Fevre A et al. Impact of localized badger culling on tuberculosis incidence in British cattle. Nature. 2003 Nov;426(6968):834-837. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02192