The fact that in previous decades of GB's progressively sanitised badger removals, no such 'halos' appeared around areas (large or small) which were culled out adequately, seems to have escaped the great and the good of the ISG. As did the change in RBCT protocol after the first 4/5 years of chaos, which meant that they did actually achieve some sort of a clearance as we reported here.
This was reflected in the Jenkins paper, published in 2008 which we discussed here. The ISG team requested more
This additional data has been further analysed as a comment on a scientific website by one of the team, Prof. Christl Donnelly.
Since publication of the paper “The duration of the effects of repeated widespread badger culling on cattle TB following the cessation of culling”, (see abstract here) an additional six months of cattle testing data have become available. These allowed analyses to be updated.
In the time period from one year after the last proactive cull to 31 January 2010 (the post-trial period), the incidence of confirmed breakdowns in the proactive culling areas was 37.0% lower (95% CI: 25.3% to 46.8% lower) than in survey-only areas and in areas up to 2km outside proactive trial areas was 3.6% lower (95% CI: 29.0% lower to 31.0% higher) than outside survey-only areas.
"Exploratory analyses stratified by 6-month periods (Table 1) suggested, unexpectedly, that the beneficial effects observed within trial areas in the first year post-trial, have reappeared in the last 6-month period analysed (37 to 42 months post-trial)."
"These latest results are consistent with a constant benefit of proactive culling continuing through this latest period. However, the effects observed outside trial areas are consistent with no ongoing effects of proactive culling in these areas."
"There is no clear explanation for the unexpected pattern observed within trial areas based on these latest data. (We examined parish test intervals and they are very similar in and around proactive and survey-only trial areas.) Continued monitoring is necessary to quantify any further temporal changes in the effects."
This updated data shows that in the period starting one year after culling stopped up until 31 January 2010 the incidence of confirmed breakdowns in the proactive culling areas was 37% lower than survey only areas (areas which were surveyed but not culled). Furthermore in the areas adjoining the culled area the incidence was 3.6% lower. This means that any initial perturbation effect has been quickly overturned and there is now a lower than previous incidence in these areas.
So, a begging bowl extended for 'more monitoring' ? - that was to be expected.
But no halos? And the excuse for doing nothing goes where, exactly?