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MAY I congratulate Trevor Jones on his two recent letters giving an historical perspective on the difficult issue of bovine TB and badger control (VR, September 27, 2014, vol 175, p 308; November 8, 2014, vol 175, pp 463-464). It is only by starting at the beginning that we get a true picture of what has happened, and of the appalling situation that has been allowed to develop since 1998.
I would like to point out some further historical issues which I hope will be of interest to members. I have had some peripheral involvement with the 2013 and 2014 badger culls in Gloucestershire, and so my comments apply specifically to this geographical area.
Table 4.4 of the Independent Scientific Groups's (ISG's) report on the Krebs/Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) project gave a mean density of 0.67 badgers per km2 in the proactive area of the cull in area A (Gloucester/Hereford border), and of 2.61 badgers per km2 in area I (south Gloucestershire) (ISG 2007). Paragraph 4.4 of the same report states that ‘Badger density estimates derived from these numbers, presented in Table 4.4, are comparable with those recorded previously in agricultural areas of Britain’, from which I assume …
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