Oxford Martin Restatement 1: A restatement of the natural science base relevant to the control of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain

01 August 2013

H.C.J. Godfray, C.A. Donnelly, R. R. Kao, D.W. Macdonald, R.A. McDonald, G. Petrokofsky, J.L.N. Wood, R. Woodroffe, D.B. Young & A.R. McLean
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Oxford Martin Restatements review the natural science evidence base underlying areas of current policy concern and controversy. Written in policy neutral terms and designed to be read by an informed but not technically specialist audience, restatements are produced by a writing team reflecting the breadth of opinion on the topic in the science community and involve wide consultation with interested stakeholders. The final version of the restatement is peer-reviewed prior to publication.

This paper was published in August 2013 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It deals with the control of bovine tuberculosis.

Bovine tuberculosis is a very important disease of cattle in Great Britain, where it has been increasing in incidence and geographical distribution. In addition to cattle, it infects other species of domestic and wild animals, in particular the European badger. Policy to control bovine tuberculosis is vigorously debated and contentious because of its implications for the livestock industry and because some policy options involve culling badgers, the most important wildlife reservoir. The Restatement provides a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base relevant to the control of bovine tuberculosis, couched in terms that are as policy-neutral as possible. Each evidence statement is placed into one of four categories describing the nature of the underlying information.