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bTB: dual host element 'ignored for too long'
cow
Bovine TB costs the UK Government £100 million a year and has a serious impact on the cattle farming industry.
Targeting badger-badger TB spread has 'modest impact' on cattle

Reducing the spread of bovine TB from badger-to-badger has only a 'modest impact' on cattle infection, according to the results of a new study by the universities of Bristol and Cambridge.

Control strategies that target badger-to-cattle and cattle-to-cattle transmission are likely to be more effective, said researchers.

Their findings, which have been published in the Royal Society Proceedings B, suggest feedback between cattle and badgers is 'critical' for our understanding and control of the disease, which costs the UK Government around £100 million a year.

Prior to this study, research has generally focused on the disease in cattle or badgers, but not both.

Professor James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at Cambridge, said: "The dual host element of the disease has been ignored for far too long in the public debate about the disease."

Scientists used mathematical modelling techniques alongside data from various sources to predict the impact of bTB controls. Their work suggests that while bTB is likely to be almost eradicated in badgers and cattle when taken in isolation. Control is likely to be far more challenging, however, when both species are considered together.

Lead author Dr Ellen Brooks-Pollock, from the University of Bristol, explained: "Our findings show that in areas with badger infection, cattle-to-badger and badger-to-cattle transmission is critical to the whole system. You can’t just consider one species in isolation.

"Reducing badger-to-cattle transmission is likely to be more effective than reducing prevalence in badgers alone. This may have particular implications for badger vaccination programmes, depending on local incidence of badger infection."

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Kennel Club appoints new chief executive

News Story 1
 The Kennel Club has announced the appointment of Mark Beazley, who was previously Cats Protection's director of operations, as chief executive. Mark replaces Rosemary Smart, who stepped down from the role in April after 18 years.

Mark has held several senior strategic and executive roles, including executive director at Dogs Trust Ireland and chair of the Companion Animal Working Group at Eurogroup for Animals. He was also heavily involved in the establishment of the Eu Cat and Dog Alliance.

Mark will take up his new role in October. 

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News Shorts
International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."