Come to December’s TB Journal Club

‘People come–they stay for a while, they flourish, they build–and they go. It is their way. But we remain. There were badgers here, I’ve been told, long before that same city ever came to be. And now there are badgers here again. We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come. And so it will ever be.’

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, 1908

Topic: Should we kill all the badgers?

Donnelly et al. Positive and negative effects of widespread badger culling on tuberculosis in cattle. Nature 2006; 439: 843-846.

Presenter: Sarah Lou Bailey, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow, LSHTM

Chair: Dave Moore, TB Centre, LSHTM

Time: 5.15pm til 6.15pm (drinks after), Tuesday 18 December 2012

Venue: LG7, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street

To cull or not to cull? That is the question.

Over the past two decades the incidence and geographical extent of bovine TB have been increasing in the UK, resulting in the slaughter of increasing numbers of infected cattle and economic consequences for farmers.

This has prompted several reviews of bovine TB control measures. Patterns of infection in cattle and badgers are closely associated. Various forms of badger culling have been used in the UK over the last three decades in an attempt to control TB in cattle.

The UK Government recently proposed culling more than 70% of badgers in two pilot areas, Gloucestershire and west Somerset. Amid public protests and scientific confusion over the effectiveness of badger culling, these plans have recently been postponed – but not abandoned.

This Nature letter attempts to explain discrepancies in the evidence from cluster randomised controlled trials of badger culling with seemingly conflicting conclusions.

Join us to discuss cluster randomised controlled trials, how evidence is translated into policy and the fate of our black and white friends. Drinks after!

The paper is available here.


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