Last autumn, more than 1,800 badgers lost their lives in Somerset and Gloucestershire in the name of bovine tuberculosis control. Now the government-commissioned report by independent experts, who have studied the evidence, has shown our grave concerns to be justified.
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Academic and medical research lies at the core of the advocacy and consciousness-raising that global health journalists undertake, although the details of their vital labour, fieldwork and analysis are often unseen by lay readers.
Fresh from the horse meat scandal, DEFRA has found itself in a new controversy, having again failed the British consumer in food traceability and labelling. The public now knows that over 20,000 cattle infected with bovine TB enter the food chain in the UK each year, and the government doesn't know where they go, where they are sold, and who is eating them.
The vaccination, like all vaccinations, will not cure any badgers that have already been infected. If the percentage of badgers with infection is particularly high in one area, it may already be too late to use the vaccination there. Vaccinating the badgers in these areas will have very little effect on the spread of bTB to cattle, and will cost a vast amount of money.
It's important to put paid to some of the other myths that have grown up around this issue. The most up to date scientific advice available shows that a programme that tackles TB on all fronts at the same time, including in wildlife, will significantly reduce the problem. What's happened in other countries backs this up.
Controversial culling of badgers as part of efforts to tackle TB in cattle goes ahead from this weekend, in the face of protests
As World Malaria Day is marked this week, it will be an opportunity to celebrate the significant progress that's been made, but it will also be a time to question why there are still so many challenges in trying to eradicate this deadly disease.
The badger cull is set to be delayed after questions over the cost and effectiveness of the scheme. Environment Secretary
Here are some key facts and figures surrounding the debate over controversial plans for a badger cull to tackle bovine tuberculosis
So where in the world can you find the highest rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis? I'll give you a clue - it also happens to be one of only two regions in the world where the number of new HIV cases continues to rise every year. It's not Africa. It's not South America or even Asia. It's the European region.