Thursday, 13 May 2010
Heroes and villains
Christl Donnelly from Imperial College and her fellow members of the Krebs committee are used to being viewed as either heroes or villains - often by the same interest groups at different times. Her account of the trial cull of badgers was a fascinating one, giving some insights into the behaviour of the animals. That there is a relationship between TB in cattle and TB in badgers seems undeniable, but who gave it to whom is much more complicated. Results from the cull, as we know, showed that although incidence of bTB declined within the culling area, the risk actually rose in the 2 km zone outside it, presumably as infected animals were disturbed and moved beyond their usual range. So what's the answer: no culls or bigger culls? Maybe it has to lie in the economics. But that is unlikely to satisfy either side in the debate.