A new study from the UK has shown that Bovine TB was not caused by direct contact with badgers. The study carried out on over 20 farms in Cornwall earlier this year pointed to the disease spreading through contaminated pastures and dung.
The study as reported by the Guardian newspaper, has shown most TB in cattle is contracted from other cattle with only some cases coming from badgers.
The bacteria itself does not need a host animal and can survive in fields for months. The new study has even went as far as saying that the bacteria could be further spread by spraying of slurry.
‘It is really difficult to track the movement of what is invisible-the pathogen,’ said Professor Rosie Woodroffe, of the Zoological Society of London.
The research was carried out on 400 cattle when they were in the terriritories of 100 badgers with the total number of tracked research days coming to more than 8000.
The research was carried out by the British Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra.)
Ireland currently operates a badger culling operation as part of a directive to achieve a bovine TB free national herd. Over 6000 badgers a year are culled as part of this operation.
[Originally reported in the Guardian newspaper]