Badger Cull Reduced TB in Cattle

EXETER, England, May 28 (UPI) — A controlled culling of badgers reduced the incidence of tuberculosis in cattle by 37 percent, researchers in England said.

Government researchers analyzed data from farms in England where Badgers were killed between 1998 and 2005, The Times of London reported Friday.

The researchers also found little spread of tuberculosis in areas adjacent to the fields where the culling occurred, which dispelled a belief that culling made the disease worse.

About 1,500 landowners have petitioned the British government to begin killing badgers this fall in Devon and Cornwall, which have been particularly hard hit by outbreaks of TB in cattle.

Caroline Spelman, Britain’s environment secretary, said she would review all scientific evidence before authorizing a cull of badgers in the area.

David Horton, head of the National Farmers’ Union in Devon, urged landowners to be patient.

“I would be delighted if we could cull now but it has to be done properly and within the letter of the law,” Horton said.

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