Latest TB trends in badger cull areas published
In September APHA published a report with the latest TB figures for the badger cull (control) areas.
The report shows the Officially Tuberculosis Free – withdrawn (OTF-W) incidence and OTF-W prevalence inside badger control areas and in the 2km buffer strip surrounding each area.
OTF-W (Official TB Free Withdrawn): these are TB incidents where there was at least one test reactor or inconclusive reactor with post-mortem evidence of M. bovis infection (judged by the presence of visible lesions typical of TB and/or identification of M. bovis in culture), or at least one slaughterhouse case that yielded M. bovis on culture. In some studies these are referred to as ‘confirmed’ breakdowns.
This data covers up to the end of 2018, which includes the first 21 badger control areas (ie those where culling started between 2013 and 2017). This means that 5 years’ worth of data is available for the first two licensed areas (Gloucestershire and Somerset) and one to three years of data for the other areas. New badger control areas will be included in subsequent reports once they have at least one year of follow-up data available.
The data in the report give raw trends in TB in cattle, but these data alone cannot demonstrate whether the badger control policy is effective in reducing bovine TB in cattle. All these data can provide is a description of the general patterns and trends. In a previous post (when last years numbers were published) I discussed this in more detail and also listed the published details of the current cull areas in England (see here).
The data from the latest report are displayed in the graphs below.
Tip: the below graphs are fully interactive. Pan your mouse curser over the graph to display the values for each point. You can zoom in/out, or export the graphs as images using the tools visible above the graphs (which are visible if you move your mouse curser over the graph).
These graphs are also viewable alongside other TB data as a page in the Bovine TB dashboard I have been developing.