Government response

Bovine TB and badger culling: myth busted

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Research shows the positive effects of badger culling can last for a long time and that an initial negative effect disappeared relatively quickly.

The myth

Recent media reports have claimed that free shooting to tackle bovine TB could spread the disease as infected badgers are dispersed to other areas.

The truth

Research shows the positive effects of badger culling can last for a long time and that an initial negative effect disappeared relatively quickly.

A 10 year badger culling trial reported that culling reduced TB incidence in cattle within culled areas but an increase in disease occurred in surrounding areas. However, ongoing monitoring shows the negative effects disappeared 1.5 years after culling stopped, and that 5.5 years on, new infection of cattle in the culled area is still 27% lower.