EDITOR - Reactor cattle are now culled that to all intent and purposes appear completely healthy, and many still are, as everyone knows. Obviously most infected badgers will not be showing any signs of distress whatsoever.
It is established knowledge that Mycobacterium-bovis can remain active for many, many months in dust, or cold, damp, dark conditions (The overcrowded Victorian slums were a breeding ground for TB in humans).
Setts will need to be completely shut down after each cull.
Mycobacterium are 100 times more slowly reproducing (dividing) than most other bacterium, so animals with a short lifespan like badgers may be dead long before any disease is apparent.
This is the problem for all of us with an infection like TB.
It is slow and insidious, and also invidious because of its potential of latency.
But once it is established it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to cure.
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