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The Pharmaceutical Journal Vol 267 No 7168 p470-481
6 October 2001


BPC 2001 summary


Control of TB in cattle

Culling badgers as a means of controlling TB in cattle herds might not be necessary, according to Professor John Bourne, chairman of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB Control.

Although gassing badgers had seemed to decrease the incidence of TB in cattle for a short period in the 1970s, it had had no effect since. Indeed, in the south west of England, the disease appeared to be “out of control”. In addition, the decrease in TB in the 1970s had coincided with a change in the way that cows were tested for the disease, which could have increased identification and slaughter of cases.

A five-year field trial was under way to compare the effect of killing badgers near infected farms, with killing all badgers in the area and with no intervention, on the incidence of TB in nearby cattle in 10 areas of England.

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