Population ecology and prevalence of tuberculosis in Badgers in an area of Staffordshire

Authors

  • C. L. CHEESEMAN,

    1. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Worplesdon Laboratory, Tangley Place, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3LQ, U.K.
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  • T. W. A. LITTLE,

    1. *Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Departments of Bacteriology and Epidemiology, Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 3NB, U.K.
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  • P. J. MALLINSON,

    1. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Worplesdon Laboratory, Tangley Place, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3LQ, U.K.
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  • R. J. C. PAGE,

    1. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Worplesdon Laboratory, Tangley Place, Worplesdon, Guildford, Surrey GU3 3LQ, U.K.
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  • J. W. WILESMITH,

    1. *Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Departments of Bacteriology and Epidemiology, Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 3NB, U.K.
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  • D. G. PRITCHARD

    1. *Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Departments of Bacteriology and Epidemiology, Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 3NB, U.K.
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ABSTRACT

Forty-five badgers representing five social groups were removed from an area in Staffordshire where tuberculosis had occurred in cattle. Prior to removal, the tuberculosis status of the badger population was investigated by screening faeces samples, collected at fortnightly intervals, and badger social-group territories were determined by bait-marking. Samples for cultural and biological examination were taken from the live badgers before euthanasia and detailed post-mortem examination. The adult badger population density was 6-2/km2 and Mycobacterium bovis was isolated from samples taken post mortem from eight (17-8%) badgers. The results are reviewed in relation to previous findings.

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