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Bovine TB
Uncertainties about reactive culling of badgers
  1. Trevor O. Jones
  1. Eaton Lodge, 10 Station Road, East Leake, Loughborough, Nottinghamshire LE12 6LQ
  1. e-mail: farmlab{at}

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STRICT movement controls are crucial in the eradication of bovine TB from the national cattle herd. Some movement of breeding badgers among social groups occurs normally, especially in spring (Neal and Cheeseman 1996), when bovine TB fulminates in badgers (Gallagher and Nelson 1979); infected males infect other males via bites during fighting on social group boundaries; cubs may disperse in search of food; badgers with advanced clinical TB roam widely. Movement control of badgers is unfeasible, so culling must be prompt and thorough.

The possibility of incomplete culling causing spread of bovine TB was raised by Overend (1980).

Five variations of culling strategy were used between 1972 and 1997 (Krebs and others 1997). All had deficiencies and declined cumulatively in efficiency from …

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