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The long term intensive ecological and epidemiological investigation of a badger population naturally infected with M. bovis - SE3032

The European badger (Meles meles) is implicated in the transmission of Mycobacterium bovis infection to cattle. The effective management of bovine tuberculosis in cattle is a fundamental responsibility of DEFRA. However, the development of a sustainable policy to control the spread of M. bovis from badgers to cattle can only be achieved through a deeper understanding of the ecology and dynamics of disease in the wildlife host, and interactions with domestic stock. This proposal describes the continuation of data collection from an intensively studied wild badger population at Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire. Since 1975 the Wildlife Disease Ecology Team of the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) has conducted research and provided advice on the ecology of badgers and the epidemiology of M. bovis, under contract to MAFF/DEFRA. The project has involved an intensive long-term programme of trapping and sampling badgers in a high density population in an area of high herd breakdown risk. This has provided data on spatial and temporal epidemiological patterns, ecological, demographic and behavioural processes that have enhanced our understanding of badger ecology, management and the epidemiology of M. bovis infection. The continued monitoring of the Woodchester Park badger population provides DEFRA with a strategic resource with which to explore a range of potential future policy options for the management of M. bovis transmission between badgers and cattle.
The basic scientific objective of this proposal is to continue to collect ecological and epidemiological data from the Woodchester Park badger population, consistent with that obtained in previous years. Specifically this will involve,1. Obtaining data on the spatial configuration of badger social groups in the study area (by bait-marking).2. Collecting data on the size, structure and infection status of the population (by capture-mark-recapture and clinical sampling).3. The collation of collected data onto the existing Woodchester Park epidemiological and spatial databases.
Project Documents
• Final Report : SE3032 2004-2007 longitudinal study final report part 1   (168k)
• Final Report : SE3032 2004-2007 longitudinal study final report part 2   (6481k)
• Final Report : The demographic, ecological, and epidemiological consequences of culling badgers   (689k)
• FRP - Final Report : SE3032 07-08 final report detailed version   (1687k)
• FRP - Final Report : SE3032 report for 07-08 short version   (197k)
• FRP - Final Report : SE3032 SID5 08-11   (151k)
• FRP - Final Report : text for 2011 SE3032 final report   (4475k)
• Final Report - Annex : Appendix 1   (169k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2011

Cost: £2,586,742
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Animal Health              
Bovine Tuberculosis              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health