Effects of culling Eurasian wild boar on the prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis and Aujeszky's disease virus

M Boadella, J Vicente, F Ruiz-Fons, J de la Fuente, C Gortázar
Preventive Veterinary Medicine 2012 December 1, 107 (3-4): 214-21
Worldwide, failure to eradicate a disease in livestock has sometimes been related to wildlife reservoirs of infection. We describe the effects of Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) abundance reduction through increased culling on the prevalence of two chronic infectious diseases, tuberculosis (TB) and Aujeszky's disease (AD), in a region of South-central Spain (SCS). The two infections studied responded differently to an approximately 50% reduction of wild boar abundance. Wild boar TB prevalence remained stable in control sites, whereas it decreased by 21-48% in treatment sites. In one treatment site, the annual wild boar abundance was positively correlated with the annual percentage of skin test reactor cattle. In another treatment site, red deer (Cervus elaphus) M. bovis infection prevalence decreased after culling wild boar. No significant effect of wild boar culling on wild boar ADV seroprevalence was found. The reduction in wild boar TB was achieved despite no alternative M. bovis host being included in the culling strategy. We advocate that culling could become a part of integrated control strategies including habitat and game management changes and vaccination, contributing to increase their success likelihood, or reducing the total expenses.

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