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Vet J. 2014 Dec;202(3):628-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2014.10.016. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

Use of water troughs by badgers and cattle.

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Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland, UK. Electronic address: declan.o'


The frequency of visits by badgers and cattle to five water troughs was examined using motion-activated infra-red cameras in a farming landscape in Northern Ireland between May and July 2013. Cattle visit rates varied significantly across troughs, were greatest during daylight periods, and more frequent during dry weather. Badgers were recorded visiting only one of the five water troughs. These visits were recorded on 14 different nights between midnight and 0300 h and were mainly by individual badgers. Water troughs were not used concurrently by badgers and cattle and the minimum period between badger and cattle use was 3 days. Although badgers used water troughs rarely during the study there remains the potential for indirect transmission of a bacterium such as Mycobacterium bovis that may merit further investigation.


Bovine tuberculosis; Cattle; Meles meles; Surveillance; Water trough

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