TB Infection Hotspots Linked to Rising Sika Deer Numbers

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New research suggests Ireland's increasing populations of Sika deer may be linked to local outbreaks of TB infection in cattle. Although TB infection rates have decreased in general in recent decades, county-level data shows a correlation between higher Sika numbers and higher local TB infections - with County Wicklow a particular hotspot.
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New research suggests Ireland's increasing populations of Sika deer may be linked to local outbreaks of TB infection in cattle.

Although TB infection rates have decreased in general in recent decades, county-level data shows a correlation between higher Sika numbers and higher local TB infections - with County Wicklow a particular hotspot.

The research, conducted by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has major implications for controlling TB. It has just been published in the journal, Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

First author of the journal article, Dr David Kelly, from Trinity's School of Natural Sciences, said, "Irish farmers have been aware of the effects of bovine TB for well over 70 years. Its incidence has steadily diminished in Ireland, from 3% in 1960 to 0.3% some 50 years later. In the mid-1980s it became clear European badgers were a TB wildlife host. Since then, badger…
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