U.S. expert criticizes U.K. badger killing

Dec 15, 2005

A University of California-Davis scientist is criticizing the British practice of killing wild badgers to prevent tuberculosis in cattle.

Rosie Woodroffe, an assistant professor of conservation biology, is the co-author of two reports released Wednesday in England that say the 30-year-old controversial practice can actually make matters worse.

The new reports summarize seven years of study for the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which was to comment on the findings Thursday in Parliament.

"In Britain, this is a huge controversy because TB genuinely affects farmers' livelihoods, but badgers are beloved by the public and protected by law," said Woodroffe. "Imagine our American bison/brucellosis issue and our wolf/livestock predation issue rolled into one," she said, noting North American badgers do not carry bovine tuberculosis.

But the scientists said whether culling was widespread or localized, it disrupted the badgers' territorial organization and made them travel more widely. On a geographical scale of up to 37 square miles, the negative effects of culling greatly outweighed the benefits, they said.

The reports appear online in the British journal Nature and the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Google searches for 'n-word' associated with black mortality

Related Stories

Parody blooms on Twitter

Apr 01, 2011

Twitter is becoming the place for parody with a cast of characters that includes an elusive cobra, a tipsy Queen of England, a profanity-spewing US politician and a maladroit BP spokesman.

Recommended for you

Bizarre 'platypus' dinosaur discovered

1 hour ago

Although closely related to the notorious carnivore Tyrannosaurus rex, a new lineage of dinosaur discovered in Chile is proving to be an evolutionary jigsaw puzzle, as it preferred to graze upon plants.

Is the universe a hologram?

1 hour ago

Describing the universe requires fewer dimensions than we might think. New calculations show that this may not just be a mathematical trick, but a fundamental feature of space itself.

Why be creative on social media?

3 hours ago

There are five motivators for creating novel content online, whether blog posts, shared news stories, images, photos, songs, videos or any of the other digital artifacts users of social media and social networking sites share ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.