Welsh launch dead badger TB survey

The Welsh government has launched a survey on dead badgers to establish how many are infected with bovine tuberculosis.

The survey will take place in the area where a vaccination programme is under way in south west Wales.

The Assembly Government wants people to report sightings in the North Pembrokeshire Intensive Action Area so the dead badgers can be examined for the presence of the TB bacterium Mycobacterium bovis.

A national survey was undertaken for an eight-month period from October 2005 of mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers found dead in Wales. During that period 727 dead badgers were reported and examinations carried out on 457 of those. Sixty one tested positive for bovine TB.

Wales’ chief veterinary officer, Dr Christianne Glossop, believed the latest exercise would be valuable.

“The aim over the next five years is to gradually raise the level of immunity within the badger population through vaccination in an attempt to reduce the risk of transmission to cattle. Postmortem examinations of dead badgers will provide valuable information,” she said.

The Welsh government wants people to note the location of a dead badger and call the IAA Landowner Helpline of 0800 4961439. “Collection of the carcass will then be arranged by the TB Team,” said a spokesman.

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