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A cost-benefit analysis of culling badgers to control bovine tuberculosis

Smith, G. C., Bennett, R., Wilkinson, D. and Cooke, R. (2007) A cost-benefit analysis of culling badgers to control bovine tuberculosis. Veterinary Journal, 173 (2). pp. 302-310. ISSN 1090-0233

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2005.11.017

Abstract/Summary

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an important economic problem. The incidence of TB in cattle herds has steadily risen in the UK, and badgers are strongly implicated in spreading disease. Since the mid-1970s the UK government has adopted a number of badger culling strategies to attempt to reduce infection in cattle. In this report, an established model has been used to simulate TB in badgers, transmission to cattle, and control by badger culling. Costs were supplied by the UK Government's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for badger trapping and gassing. Regardless of culling intensity or area simulated, an overall reduction in the herd breakdown rate was seen. With a high culling efficacy and no social perturbation, the mean Net Present Value of a few simulated culling strategies in an "ideal world" was positive, meaning the economic benefits outweighed the costs. Further work is required before these results could be considered definitive, as it is necessary to evaluate uncertainties and simulate less than perfect conditions. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:9181
Uncontrolled Keywords:economics, Meles meles, Mycobacterium bovis, spatial model, TB, MELES-MELES POPULATION, MYCOBACTERIUM-BOVIS, ENGLAND, MODEL, STRATEGIES, IMPACT, CATTLE

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