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Benham, P. F. J., & Broom, D. M. (1991). Responses of dairy cows to badger urine and faeces on pasture with reference to bovine tuberculosis transmission. British Veterinary Journal147(6), 517-532.

Enticott, G. (2015). Public attitudes to badger culling to control bovine tuberculosis in rural Wales. European Journal of Wildlife Research61(3), 387-398.

Garner, M. G., Dubé, C., Stevenson, M. A., Sanson, R. L., Estrada, C., & Griffin, J. (2007). Evaluating alternative approaches to managing animal disease outbreaks–the role of modelling in policy formulation. Veterinaria Italiana43(2), 285-298.

Kao, R. (2012). Simulating the impact of badger culling on bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Veterinary Record170(7), 175-176.

Lodge, M., & Matus, K. (2014). Science, badgers, politics: Advocacy coalitions and policy change in bovine tuberculosis policy in Britain. Policy Studies Journal42(3), 367-390.

McDonald, R. A. (2014). Badgers and bovine tuberculosis. Current Biology, 24(4), R141-R143.

O’Reilly, L. M., & Daborn, C. J. (1995). The epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis infections in animals and man: a review. Tubercle and Lung Disease,76, 1-46.

Reynolds, D. (2006). A review of tuberculosis science and policy in Great Britain. Veterinary Microbiology112(2), 119-126.

Smith, G. C., Bennett, R., Wilkinson, D., & Cooke, R. (2007). A cost–benefit analysis of culling badgers to control bovine tuberculosis. Veterinary Journal173(2), 302-310.

Swinton, J., Tuyttens, F., Macdonald, D., Nokes, D. J., Cheeseman, C. L., & Clifton-Hadley, R. (1997). A comparison of fertility control and lethal control of bovine tuberculosis in badgers: the impact of perturbation induced transmission. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences352(1353), 619-631.

White, P. C., & Whiting, S. J. (2000). Public attitudes towards badger culling to control bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Veterinary Record147(7), 179-184.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the situation regarding badger culling in Great Britain for bovine tuberculosis eradication is highly complex, with many different facets to consider. Hopefully after reading through this website, you will be able to decide where you stand on this controversial issue. Please feel free to comment below about your opinions on badger culling for bTB control!

To cull or not to cull… that is the question!

2010 to 2015 Government Policy


With the current Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government coming into power in 2010, a new policy toward badger culling in Great Britain was developed by the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). Although much of the scientific reports available conclude that badger culling is ineffective in the long term, the policy states that:

“The scientific evidence shows conclusively that badgers contribute significantly to bovine TB in cattle. This evidence comes from the randomised badger culling trial. In this trial there were positive and negative changes in the incidence of TB in cattle as a result of badger culling.”

This controversial 2010 to 2015 government policy toward bTB can be found here and includes:

  •  Introduction of pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire
    • Issued licenses allowing farmers to cull by free shooting
  • Reduction of cattle infection rate through surveillance, testing, controls
  • Vaccine development for cattle
  • Vaccinating badgers


The development of legislation dealing with badger culling for bTB control is extremely complex as multiple issues need to be considered (Garner et al., 2007):

  • Potential risk to human health
  • Consumers worried over contaminated livestock
  • Adequate funding for vaccines and being able to diagnose bTB
  • Impact on economic relationship with trading partners
  • Epidemiological and economic models
  • Public opinion

Currently there are a number of policies and regulations regarding this issue, described in the following posts. However, at the moment there is no United Kingdom wide policy implemented.

Contrasting Values & Viewpoints

In terms of badger culling for bTB eradication in Great Britain, there are many conflicting values and viewpoints that make this issue so controversial. These opinions are not necessarily right or wrong, but must be considered thoroughly and logically. The following posts aim to discuss how badger culling may stack up against different ethical theories, as well as how attitudes and opinions lie among these groups:

  • Public
  • Farmers
  • Animal rights activists

Ethical Implications

Is badger culling for bTB control in Great Britain ethical, according to these different theories?


  • Advocated by Peter Singer
  • What is it?
    • Cost-Benefit analysis to choosing actions
    • Best moral action maximizes utility and minimizes total suffering
  • How does badger culling stack up with this theory?
    • May be considered ethical if there eventually is a net benefit of decreasing bTB prevalence

Rights Approach

  • Advocated by Tom Regan
  • What is it?
    • Animals have inherent rights as individuals
    • Animals should not be considered as resources by society
  • How does badger culling stack up with this theory?
    • Likely not considered ethical as culling badgers goes against these animals’ inherent rights to live
    • Raises question of whether society has the right to decide which animals get to live or die