Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First tests of delivery of candidate baits for oral vaccination of badgers against bovine tuberculosis in France. Impact of non-target species.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of non-target species on a candidate baits deployment, in the perspective of orally vaccinate badgers against bovine tuberculosis (BTb). Indeed, vaccinating badgers could be an interesting tool to manage BTb at the badger-cattle interface in France. The study was carried out in the infected area of Côte-d'Or, on 15 setts located in the vicinity of pastures. The baits (developed in the UK, here used without any vaccine) were deployed in spring and summer, either down or in front of the holes. Camera-traps were used to monitor the presence of non-target species on setts as well as their behaviour towards the baits. The removal rate of the baits was also monitored and analysed. Apart from the Badger, the Roe Deer, the Wild Cat and the Red Fox were the most frequent species observed on the setts. The bait removal rate was more frequent in summer when baits were placed down entrance holes and bait uptake was observed from birds, red foxes, cattle, small rodents, nutrias and martens. This study: 1. showed a wider range of non-target species than what was reported in the UK; 2. identified the Red Fox as the species that might have the highest impact on badgers' bait uptake; 3. showed that cattle might consume the bait, which has to be taken into account when deploying baits containing BCG, as this could interfere with diagnostic tests.