Survey of badgers after TB cases
Wednesday, 31 December, 2003
are to survey badgers in south west Cumbria after an unexplained
rise in bovine tuberculosis.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(DEFRA) says the study in the Furness peninsula will also monitor
deer culled and those found dead with suspect TB lesions in the
The survey will focus on badgers and deer killed on the roads in
a 180 square kilometre area.
It aims to find out whether any of the animals are infected with
DEFRA said Cumbria has been relatively free from the disease for
many years but there has been an increasing incidence of outbreaks
in cattle in recent months.
Some of these are reportedly linked to the purchase of infected
cattle from other parts of the country.
But it says there have been seven confirmed TB incidents in the
Furness peninsula in the last 18 months in which purchased livestock
do not appear to have been involved.
All cattle in the area are currently being tested for the
Results will be used to decide the future cattle testing policy
for the area.
Anyone who finds a dead badger on the roads is asked to contact
the local animal health officer, in Carlisle.
Carcasses will be collected and taken to a laboratory in Penrith
to be examined.