New research says badgers and cattle seldom contact
New research led from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) says that badgers rarely come into contact with cattle. It suggests that TB is likely to be spread by bacteria in the environment, for example in slurry and manure. The research tracked badgers and cattle across 20 farms in Cornwall between 2012-2015. Now that the results have been analysed the next phase of research is to identify where in the environment the disease bacteria are concentrated.
“It is much more likely that contamination by cattle of fields and yards by [TB bacteria] is the cause of repeated TB herd breakdowns,” said MacMillan, a former Defra scientist. “It’s clear that the government must divert the substantial resources being used needlessly to cull badgers and instead improve farmer education and biosecurity on farms.” said a veterinary adviser for Humane Society International to the Guardian.
Campaigners meanwhile are setting up camps in preparation for the culls which are expected to start at the end of August.