Agri-Shop Ltd
Farminguk
24 August 2016 | Online since 2003
OvoConcept


16 January 2013 06:46:35 |Animal Health,Cattle,News

Research reveals level of illegal badger culling


Over 10% of livestock farmers in Wales have illegally killed badgers according to a research paper published today.
Using a method known as the randomised reponse technique (RRT), the research team suggested that it would be interesting to model how such a rate of illegal badger killing could be contributing, or not, to the spread of bTB, particularly as badger movements are effected when social groups are disrupted.
Farming Minister David Heath hinted the badger cull could resume in other areas after a delay was announced by the government last October.
Plans for a badger cull in Somerset and Gloucestershire were due to go ahead until it was stopped amid widespread criticisms, protests and petitions.
The paper, called 'Innovative techniques for estimating illegal activities in a human-wildlife-management conflict', by teams from the Bangor University, University of Kent and Kingston University revealed the estimated rate of illegal culling.
Previous research does not sufficiently consider whether illegal badger killing contributes to the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) to livestock.
"The proportion of farmers estimated to have killed badgers should be considered by policymakers and in the wider debate" said Dr Paul Cross, from Bangor University.
"Intensive badger culling is one approach being considered by policy makers in an attempt to control the spread of tuberculosis in cattle."
"However, studies investigating the effects of badger culling on TB outbreaks in cattle have not factored in the prevalence of illegal badger killing, and its potential to spread disease."
Dr Freya St John, from the University of Kent said: "Attempting to resolve the issues regarding badgers as carriers of bovine TB requires cross-disciplinary scientific research, a departure from deep-rooted positions, and the political will to implement evidence-based management. We believe that this study makes an important contribution to that debate."
RRT requires respondents to roll two dice before answering sensitive questions such as ‘have you killed a badger in the last 12 months’.
The result of the dice roll is never revealed to researchers, it is the respondents’ secret.
Crucially there are instructions associated with the dice roll, for example, if the sum of the dice equals five through to ten, answer truthfully; if the sum is between 2 and 4, answer 'yes'; and if the sum is 11 or 12, answer 'no'.
The role of 'forced' answers adds noise to the data so that a 'yes' answer doesn’t necessarily mean that a respondent committed an illegal act.
After the delay last year, the NFU wrote to the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to urge the operation to commence in 2013.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "Despite a greatly increased effort over the last few days and weeks, the farmers delivering this policy have concluded that they cannot be confident that it will be possible to remove enough badgers based on these higher numbers and considering the lateness of the season."
"The Government is determined to tackle bovine TB by all the means available to us. Now, in the next few months, we will ensure that the pilot culls can be implemented effectively, in the best possible conditions, with the right resources."
The President of the British Veterinary Association said the halt was a 'severe blow' to the vets and farmers who are battling against bovine TB.
"We need to wait for the Secretary of State’s statement to hear the reasons behind any delay, and we very much hope this will not reflect a change in policy" said Peter Jones.
"As we get later in the season we must recognise that it becomes less likely for a cull to be delivered effectively and so it could make sense to delay until next year."
"It is important to note that the speculation is that the cull is being delayed due to questions surrounding the logistics of delivery. The science has not changed."

Download

1 Comment

loginuserlogo
Name

Please enter your name


Email

Please enter your email

Please enter valid email


Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment has been submitted successfully. Please wait for admin approval.


Comments


Canada | 23 August 2016
Drones are taking Ontario agriculture to new heights

Dr. Mary Ruth McDonald from the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, said drones have become an important tool in a farmer’s toolbox in the last decade. "Even before that, peop...


Belgium | 23 August 2016
European study reveals dairy farm dust is stopping farm kids developing asthma

A Belgian study of European children growing up on dairy farms has revealed exposure to farm dust from an early age can prevent asthma. Researchers have tested the theory on mice, and found exposur...


Ireland | 23 August 2016
Tradition trumps technology at the marts

The traditional livestock trade continues to trump online selling. Despite the surge in digital buying across almost every industry, evidence suggests that farmers remain "on the fence" about the phen...


China | 23 August 2016
Shipping dairy cows to China is 'ecomomic treason', Winston Peters says

Dairy giant Fonterra has been accused of "economic treason" after shipping thousands of dairy cows from Timaru to China. However, the company says it is important to be realistic about the scale of...


USA | 23 August 2016
Flooding will cost state agriculture $110 million

Heavy rains that recently caused historic flooding in south Louisiana will cost the state’s agriculture industry at least $110 million, according to preliminary estimates from the LSU AgCenter. Tha...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed


Top stories you may have missed
FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The sustained recovery of pig prices since the spring has come at a time wh...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel has declared the Russian import ban ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A new study has linked oilseed rape crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Philip Hammond is to guarantee billions of pounds of UK government investme...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Access to the foreign labour market is 'critical', according the chief exec...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The Tenant Farmers Association has said the National Trust's vision for a p...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

Ulster farmers will 'not lie down and wave the white flag' when Brexit nego...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The cost of rural crime to the UK economy costs £42.5 million a year, accor...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

A young farmers club member from Oxfordshire has created a petition on the ...


FarmingUK
FarmingUK Logo

FarmingUK

The farming sector has reacted negatively to a proposal to reintroduce the ...


closeicon
Username
Password