Skip to main content


Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish the research on badger perturbation produced by the Woodchester Project. (292424)

The Food and Environment Research Agency’s Woodchester Park team has published over 100 papers on the relationship between badger biology and bovine TB dynamics. Research on the perturbation of badger populations, including work on the relationship between badger movement and TB dynamics at Woodchester Park, has been peer-reviewed and published in the following recent scientific papers:

Carter S, Delahay R, Smith G, Macdonald D, Riordan P, Etherington T, Pimley E, Cheeseman C (2007) Culling-induced social perturbation in Eurasian badgers Meles meles and the management of TB in cattle: an analysis of a critical problem in applied ecology. “Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences)” 274, 2769-2777.

Vicente J, Delahay R, Walker N, Cheeseman C (2007) Social organisation and movement influence the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in an undisturbed high density badger (Meles meles) population. “Journal of Animal Ecology” 76, 348-360.

McDonald RA, Delahay RJ, Carter SP, Smith GC, Cheeseman CL (2008) Perturbing implications of wildlife ecology for disease control. “Trends in Ecology and Evolution” 23, 53-56.

Further detail of the DEFRA funded Woodchester Park project (SE3032 The long term intensive ecological and epidemiological investigation of a badger population naturally infected with “Mycobacterium bovis”) is available on the DEFRA website.