Bovine tuberculosis (bTB), a highly infectious chronic respiratory disease primarily affecting cattle, is a major problem in Britain. Southwest Britain in particular has been most greatly impacted, facing a resurgence of bTB in the 1990s. Infected cattle must be slaughtered, otherwise the disease would spread rapidly. As a result, more than 25,000 cattle have been slaughtered per year in the United Kingdom and total costs in the next decade are predicted to exceed £1 billion.
Thus, much effort has been invested in bTB control. Since badgers are thought to be a wildlife vector to transmit bTB to cattle, culling programs have been underway over the past several years in efforts to stamp out the disease. However, badger culling for bTB eradication in Great Britain is extremely controversial in terms of science, politics, economics, conservation, and animal welfare, with numerous proponents for and against culling.
Read through the rest of this website to find out why this situation is so controversial and the various animal welfare implications that result. (Note: There is also a cool video at the very end of the website… so keep reading until you find it!)