New research reveals that more than 10% of Welsh livestock farmers have killed badgers illegally17/01/2013 15:25:39 Rolling dice reveals level of illegal badger killing
January 2013. A little-used method for estimating how many people are involved in sensitive or illegal activities can provide critical information to environmental policy makers involved in the proposed UK badger culling scheme, according to new research.
‘Innovative techniques for estimating illegal activities in a human-wildlife-management conflict', a paper written by a research team from Bangor University, the University of Kent and Kingston University, has revealed - for the first time - the estimated rate of illegal badger killing.
More than 10% of livestock farmers in Wales have illegally killed badgers
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Dr Paul Cross, from Bangor University's School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography explains: ‘The proportion of farmers estimated to have killed badgers should be considered by policymakers and in the wider debate.
‘Intensive badger culling is one approach being considered by policy makers in an attempt to control the spread of tuberculosis in cattle. However, studies investigating the effects of badger culling on TB outbreaks in cattle have not factored in the prevalence of illegal badger killing, and its potential to spread disease.'
Dr Freya St John, from the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), said: ‘Attempting to resolve the issues regarding badgers as carriers of bovine TB requires cross-disciplinary scientific research, a departure from deep-rooted positions, and the political will to implement evidence-based management. We believe that this study makes an important contribution to that debate.'