Risk of disease from wildlife reservoirs: Badgers, cattle, and bovine tuberculosis

Michael Scantlebury, M.R. Hutchings, D.J. Allcroft, S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Livestock face complex foraging options associated with optimizing nutrient intake while being able to avoid areas posing risk of parasites or disease. Areas of tall nutrient-rich swards around fecal deposits may be attractive for grazing, but might incur fitness costs from parasites. We use the example of dairy cattle and the risks of tuberculosis transmission posed to them by pastures contaminated with badger excreta to examine this trade-off. A risk may be posed either by aerosolized inhalation through investigation or by ingestion via grazing contaminated swards. We quantified the levels of investigation and grazing of 150 dairy cows at badger latrines (accumulations of feces and urine) and crossing points (urination-only sites). Grazing behavior was compared between strip-grazed and rotation-grazed fields. Strip grazing had fields subdivided for grazing periods of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-339
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Science
  • veterinary(all)


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