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Bovine TB in the pilot badger cull zone in Gloucestershire
  1. Caroline Allen
  1. Fiona Dalzell
  1. Bronwen Eastwood
  1. Richard Edwards
  1. Phill Elliott
  1. Geoffrey Hale and
  2. Geraldine Hale
  1. Mark Jones
  1. Andrew Knight
  1. Jo Lewis
  1. Iain McGill
  1. Andre Menache
  1. Peter Southgate
  1. Paul Torgerson
  1. 226-228 Essex Road, Islington, London N1 3AP
  2. Merivale 8146, Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  3. Wilbury Veterinary Surgery, 20 Wilbury Avenue, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6HR
  4. Foxfield, Slindon Bottom Road, Fontwell, West Sussex BN18 0SN
  5. 9 Hunt Road, Earls Colne, Essex CO6 2NX
  6. Empress Business Centre, 380 Chester Road, Manchester M16 9EA
  7. c/o Born Free Foundation, Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 4QP
  8. Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, SO22 4NR
  9. 138 Chobham Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 0HU
  10. 81 Stanmer Park Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 7JL
  11. Flat 5, 49 Granville Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1HB
  12. 61 Ferry Road, Sudbourne, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 2BJ
  13. University of Zurich, Section of Epidemiology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
  1. e-mail: markj{at}bornfree.org.uk

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IN their letter entitled ‘Bovine TB in the pilot badger cull zone in Gloucestershire’ (VR, February 21, 2015, vol 176, p 208), Blowey and others claim that data derived from veterinary practices serving some farmers within the pilot badger cull zone in Gloucestershire show significant declines in bovine TB reactors. They appear to suggest the pilot badger culls may have resulted in dramatic reductions in TB in cattle. Mr Blowey has subsequently been quoted as saying ‘I can think of no other reason other than the culling of infected badgers as to why there should be such a decrease in the level of bovine TB in the county.’

Within a couple of days of the letter's publication, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, announced at the National Farmers' Union's (NFU) annual conference that, if re-elected, the Conservative Party would roll out badger culling more widely. NFU president, Meurig Raymond, made reference to the data in his response to the …

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