Bovine tuberculosis (TB) and badgers

Statement

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) adopts a neutral stance with regards to the culling of badgers for control of bovine TB. As an association concerned with small companion animals, comment on the epidemiological aspects of transmission of infectious disease between wildlife and livestock is beyond our scientific remit.
The BSAVA does provide resources to its membership on legal, ethical and welfare aspects of individual sick or injured wildlife species (including badgers) in a practice setting and the health and safety of staff working with such animals.

Date 10 November 2020

Background information

Bovine TB is a serious disease with animal welfare and public health implications that affect a wide range of species, including on occasion cats and dogs. There has been a great deal of discussion on the most appropriate methods of control for bovine TB, however the science is incomplete and open to interpretation. Further information can be found from the following sources:

A restatement of the natural science evidence base relevant to the control of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain.
Government policy on control of bovine TB
British Veterinary Association
British Cattle Veterinary Association
British Veterinary Zoological Society

Relevant statements

Information sheet on mycobacterial infection in cats and dogs

Provenance

Reviewed by members of BSAVA Scientific Committee (Sarah Caddy, Alex German, Jeremy Kirk, Caroline Kisielewicz, Lisa Morrow, Sue Paterson, Ian Self, Melissa Upjohn, James Warland) 2020

References

References
Mullineaux E (2012) Badger Emergency Care. Companion: December p20-22.

Mullineaux E (2003) Badgers. BSAVA Manual of Wildlife Casualties Eds. Mullineaux, Best, Cooper. BSAVA.

BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pet and Wildlife Nursing (general information). Eds Varga, Lumbis and Gott. BSAVA. 
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