1. On the basis of our careful review of all currently available evidence, we conclude
that badger culling is unlikely to contribute positively, or cost effectively, to the control of
cattle TB in Britain (10.48 and 10.92).
2. We conclude that there is substantial scope for improvement of control of the
disease through the application of heightened control measures directly targeting cattle.
Therefore, we recommend that priority should be given to developing policies based on
more rigorous application of control measures to cattle, in the absence of badger culling
(10.57 and 10.93).
Options involving badger management
3. It is highly unlikely that reactive culling – as practised in the RBCT – could
contribute other than negatively to future TB control strategies (10.3 – 10.4).
4. Proactive culling – as practised in the RBCT – is unlikely to contribute effectively
to the future control of cattle TB (10.5 – 10.7).
Adaptations of proactive culling
5. Improvements in culling efficiency are unlikely to generate benefits substantially
greater than those recorded in the RBCT (10.10 – 10.14).
6. Different configurations of culling operation, alternative to that used in the RBCT,
would confer no advantage and could lead to further detrimental effects (10.15).
7. Culling over larger areas would be unlikely to develop net benefits in economic
terms (10.16 – 10.18).
8. Areas with boundaries impermeable to badgers could contribute to TB control only
on a local scale, as few areas exist with appropriate natural boundaries (10.19 – 10.21).
9. Culling in areas adjoining land with low or zero TB risk is likely to achieve no
greater overall benefits than the RBCT (10.22 – 10.23).
10. Preventing re-
potential benefits appear small (10.24).
Adaptations of reactive culling
11. Improving culling efficiency is very unlikely to generate overall beneficial effects
from localised culling (10.25 – 10.26).
12. Reactive culling over larger areas is unlikely to generate overall benefits for the
control of cattle TB (10.27).
13. Repeated reactive culling is likely to increase, rather than decrease, the detrimental
effect associated with localised culling (10.28).
14. Reactive culling conducted more rapidly after detection of infection in cattle offers
little promise of an effective control strategy for cattle TB (10.29 – 10.31).24
Culling badgers under licence
15. Culling badgers under licence not only could fail to achieve a beneficial effect,
but could increase the incidence of cattle TB and increase the geographical spread of the
disease, irrespective of whether licences were issued to individual farmers or to groups
(10.33 – 10.36).
Other approaches to badger culling
16. Culling in response to detection of infection in road-
areas of high cattle TB risk and is likely to generate the detrimental effect of reactive
17. Selective culling of infected badgers is very unlikely to reduce the prevalence of M.
bovis infection in badgers substantially and might increase overall infection rates (10.39
18. Culling of ‘hospital setts’ is a highly speculative approach appearing to have little
or nothing to contribute to future control strategies (10.43).
19. Badger culling combined with vaccination is likely to reduce any advantage gained
by vaccination (10.44).
Approaches to badger management other than culling
20. Separating cattle and badgers by badger-
appropriate for some farms. More generally, common sense measures could be applied in
some circumstances to keep badgers out of buildings and feed stores. We recommend that
research effort into ways of keeping badgers and cattle apart be continued (10.49 – 10.56).
Options based on cattle controls
Control of cattle movement
21. More rigorous control measures aimed at preventing spread of infection by cattle
movement are necessary. Pre-
tuberculin skin test and the IFN test should be used. Isolation of purchased animals prior
to introduction into the herd and re-
the tuberculin skin test and the IFN test, would also be desirable in some situations. These
measures could be reinforced by categorising herds or regions of the country as high or low
risk and preventing cattle movement from high to low risk farms/regions (10.64).
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