Randomised Badger Culling Trials (1998-2007)

What is it?

  • Trial badger cull conducted by Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG)
  • Assessed effectiveness of different types of culling for bTB control using the following experimental conditions:
Different experimental conditions

Major Findings?

  • Perturbation effect with proactive culling
    • Areas outside cull resulted in more bTB infections due to increased movements of badgers to escape cull, resulting in spread of disease
    • Decreased bTB inside culled area
  • Reactive culling not effective, increasing bTB by 29% (McDonald, 2014)
Effect of proactive culling during and after trial shows no overall benefit to badger culling for bTB control in cattle (Jenkins et al., 2010)


  • Culling = short term benefits in culled area, but ineffective in long term
  • Need to cull over large areas of land with natural boundaries to prevent perturbation effect
  • More efforts should be put into research instead

Impact on Government in 2008?

  • Creation of new advisory group
  • Decision not to proceed with further culls as effectiveness called into question

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