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Public attitudes towards badger culling to control bovine tuberculosis in cattle
  1. P. C. L. White, BSc, PhD1 and
  2. S. J. Whiting, BSc1
  1. 1 Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD

Abstract

In 1999, a questionnaire survey was conducded to evaluate public preferences towards badger culling to control bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Three alternative treatments were considered: (1) widespread culling, (2) the current experimental trials, and (3) no culling. One hundred residents from Glastonbury and York were interviewed in person and asked to give preference ratings to each of the three treatments. The single most preferred treatment was no culling, and the least preferred was the widespread cull. Respondents who favoured either the widespread cull or the experimental trials tended to be more knowledgeable about the problem and cited the level of tuberculosis in cattle as the primary fador guiding their preferences. Respondents who favoured the no culling option tended to be less knowledgeable, and cited the conservation and welfare impacts on badger populations as the most important factors. Analysis of the distribution of preference scores suggested that although it was not necessarily the most preferred treatment the experimental trial may be a relatively acceptable alternative.

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