Model of btb in badgers - control strategies
Journal of Applied
Ecology - Vol 38,No 3, Jun 2001, pp509-519(11)
An individual-based stochastic simulation model was used to investigate
the control of bTB in the badger.
Nearly all population and epidemiological parameters were derived from one study
site, and the transmission of bTB from badgers to cattle was included. The latter
is an essential step if reactive badger control strategies are to be modelled.
The model appeared to underestimate slightly the rate of population
recovery following widespread culling. This may have been due to simulating an
isolated population with no immigration and no compensatory increase in
fecundity. This should not affect the relative efficacy of each control
strategy, but does require further investigation.
Of the historical methods of badger control, gassing and the ‘clean ring’
strategies were the most effective at reducing disease prevalence in the badger
and cattle herd breakdown rates. These results agree with those of earlier
The proactive badger removal operation as part of the current field trial
should cause a dramatic decrease in the number of cattle herd breakdowns, but
also has the greatest effect on the badger population size.
The proactive use of a live test to detect bTB, followed by vaccination,
appears to reduce substantially cattle herd breakdowns and disease prevalence in
Three combined control strategies gave the best initial reduction in
cattle herd breakdown rate and disease prevalence in the badger: (i) a proactive
cull followed by reactive test and cull; (ii) a continued vaccination and
proactive test and cull; and (iii) a continuous proactive test and cull.
The results of simulation models suggest that badger vaccination is a very
good method of TB control. This is at odds with simple models and requires
cattle; individual-based model; TB; wildlife disease