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 the mid 1990’s.

Survey findings

An interim report has been published which noted the following:

  • the prevalence of M. bovis in badgers was 17%.
  • TB infection is geographically widespread in badgers with no evidence of clustering and no apparent association, at regional level, with the distribution of infection in cattle.
  • herds immediately adjacent to infected badger carcases did not have a higher risk of infection compared to those adjacent to TB-negative animals. However, a higher proportion of herds within 3km of a positive carcase had TB compared to those within 3 km of a negative carcase and the difference was statistically significant.

The provisional conclusions arising from the survey was that there did appear to be a link between the distribution of infection in both species, although this did not indicate causality, i.e. direction of spread.

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

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