Badger road traffic accident (RTA) survey

Badgers are a protected species in NI and culling for TB control purposes is not permitted. Ad hoc surveys, using badgers killed by cars, have been undertaken in the past but a province-wide survey has been ongoing since 1998.

Survey findings

Some of the findings from the survey are:

  • The prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine TB in badgers, since 1998 is 16.8% (95% Confidence Interval 15.8-17.8%).
  • There is evidence that M. bovis infected badgers are clustered in both time and space.
  • M. bovis strain types were spatially co-localised in cattle and RTA badgers, indicative of a link between the distribution of infection in both species, although this did not indicate causality, i.e. direction of spread.
  • The survey results have helped guide decisions for cattle bovine TB control at the local and national level, e.g. local herd breakdown investigations and biosecurity advice.

The following papers have been published so far in relation to the Badger Road Traffic Accident Survey:

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