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Science
NATURE
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Monday 21:00-21:30
Nature offers a window on global natural history, providing a unique insight into the natural world, the environment, and the magnificent creatures that inhabit it.
nhuradio@bbc.co.uk
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 6 February
PRESENTER
GRANT SONNEX
Grant Sonnex
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Monday 6 February 2006
A caged badger...

Badgers: to cull or not to cull?

As the government calls for our views on whether or not we should cull badgers to help control tuberculosis in cattle, in Nature this week Grant Sonnex asks whether the science supports a cull which could reduce our badger numbers by up to a third.

Many cattle farms are currently in crisis, with TB rising by up t0 20% each year in TB "hotspots" in the English south-west and West Midlands.
A captured badger
There have been no large-scale badger culls since the late 1990s pending the results of a Randomised Badger Culling Trial, which was established to determine the connections between the incidence of TB in badgers and of TB in cattle.

Now the interim results of that trial have been published and their message has overturned the expectations of many involved in badger research.

Nature examines the history of badgers and TB in Britain and hears evidence from farmers, scientists and researchers here and in the Republic of Ireland to assess the arguments for and against a further cull

At this crucial time, Grant Sonnex explores the latest science from the UK and abroad and asks whether the evidence supports a further cull.

You can find more information on the government's consultation on badger culling via the D.E.F.R.A website.

Or phone the Radio 4 Actionline on 0800 044 044 for details.
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