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Cowie C.E.,University of York | Cowie C.E.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Hutchings M.R.,Scotland's Rural College | Barasona J.A.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2016

Livestock diseases such as bovine tuberculosis can have considerable negative effects on human health and economic activity. Wildlife reservoirs often hinder disease eradication in sympatric livestock populations. Therefore, quantifying interactions between wildlife and livestock is an important aspect of understanding disease persistence. This study was conducted on an extensive cattle farm in southwest Spain, where cattle, domestic pigs, wild boar and red deer are considered to be part of a tuberculosis host community. We tested the hypothesis that the frequency of both types of interactions would be greater at food and water sites, due to the aggregation of individuals from multiple species at these locations. We measured direct and indirect interactions between individuals using GPS and proximity loggers. Over 57,000 direct interactions were recorded over a 2-year period, of which 875 (1.5 %) occurred between different species and 216 (0.38 %) occurred between wildlife and livestock. Most direct and indirect interactions occurred at water sites. Over 90 % of indirect interactions between wildlife and livestock took place within the estimated 3-day environmental survival time of Mycobacterium bovis in this habitat. Red deer home ranges and daily activity patterns revealed significant spatial and temporal overlaps with cattle, particularly in autumn. Suids and red deer also cross the farm boundary regularly, introducing a between-farm interaction risk. The infrequent occurrence of direct interactions between individuals from different species suggests that they are unlikely to be the sole mode of disease transmission and that indirect interactions may play an important role. © 2015, The Author(s). Source

Cowie C.E.,University of York | Cowie C.E.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Gortazar C.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | White P.C.L.,University of York | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2015

Livestock disease control strategies are usually determined at national and international levels, yet their successful implementation is determined by stakeholders operating at local scales. Such stakeholders may also have detailed knowledge that would contribute to the development of disease control options suited to the socio-cultural and environmental conditions where management is undertaken. The aim of this study was to evaluate stakeholders' opinions of a list of potential bovine tuberculosis (TB) management interventions for South Central Spain. This area has high TB prevalence in wildlife and livestock, so veterinarians, livestock farmers and hunters are all key stakeholders in TB management. A literature review identified possible management activities. The effectiveness of each intervention was ranked by local experts, and practicality was ranked by hunters, cattle farmers and veterinarians, using a best-worst scaling exercise as part of a questionnaire. The most effective intervention, the banning of supplemental feeding of game species, was not considered practical by stakeholders. The most effective and practical interventions were the separation of wildlife and livestock access to waterholes, testing cattle every 3 months on farms with a recent positive TB case and removing gut-piles from the land after hunting events. Although all three of these options were well supported, each stakeholder group supported different approaches more strongly, suggesting that it might be effective to promote different disease management contributions in different stakeholder communities. This integrated approach contributes to the identification of the optimum combination of management tools that can be delivered effectively. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Cowie C.E.,University of York | Cowie C.E.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Marreos N.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | Gortazar C.,SaBio IREC Wildlife Research Institute CSIC UCLM JCCM | And 2 more authors.
Research in Veterinary Science | Year: 2014

Livestock diseases can result in reduced farm productivity. The bacterial diseases tuberculosis (TB) and brucellosis may share some transmission characteristics which, if managed in common, would result in more cost-effective management. Here, we identify risk factors shared between these diseases using a case-control approach and information theoretic modelling. One-hundred cattle farmers in Atlantic Spain were interviewed about farm characteristics and management practices. The risk factor shared between both diseases was intra- and inter-herd contact between cattle. Disease-specific risk factors were the presence of wildlife for TB, and cattle movement between farms for brucellosis. An integrated approach to disease management needs to consider cattle movement and farm biosecurity, reinforced by an education campaign to increase farmer awareness. This would be likely to bring benefits in reducing both diseases and improve the efficiency of any interventions. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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