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‘Significant’ bTB infection in wildlife in Cumbria

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By Kathryn Clark

Eleven per cent of badgers tested following culling in a Cumbrian TB hotspot in 2018 were positive for Mycobacterium bovis, according to figures released by Defra last week.

Badger culling was authorised by Natural England last year as part of measures to tackle a cluster of bovine TB (bTB) infection that had emerged in cattle herds in so-called ‘hotspot 21’ (HS21) in eastern Cumbria. This was the first licence allowing culling in the low-risk area of England, and 602 badgers were removed from HS21 in 2018.

Defra has published surveillance findings from the first year of badger control operations in HS21 alongside a second report discussing wider surveillance …

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