Badger, Badger, Badger (Part 2)

In my last post we saw how, following an 8 year trial of badger culling in 2007, the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) concluded that culling could make no meaningful contribution to Bovine Tuberculosis control. This was due to the ‘pertubation effect’ where culling caused badgers to scatter and spread the infection further afield. Following a […]

Badger, Badger, Badger …

It’s a debate that’s got everyone talking; animal rights activists, farmers, scientists and politicians. Yes, it’s about the dear old badger, and Government plans to tackle the spread of tuberculosis in cows through culling. Bovine TB has become a serious problem for British livestock and currently costs the taxpayer £100m a year. It is well-known […]

Science Behind the Photo #27

Eight million cows roam Brazil’s Pantanal – the world’s largest wetland – and with all that beef chomping through the area’s vegetation, environmentalists are nervous that native mammals could be pushed out.  However, a recent dung study shows their fears may be unfounded. The Pantanal has been home to cattle ranchers since the mid-18th century.  […]

Science Behind the photo #17

  If you own cows, don’t feed them mouldy beet silage – it could be their last meal. Experts were called to a farm in Belgium recently to investigate why cattle were refusing their food and dying.  They found that mould on the cows’ feed contained a powerful neurotoxin. It’s the first observed link between ingestion […]

Gutted to be green

Ol’ Daisy the cow doesn’t know it, but she might just be responsible for saving the world. OK, not quite, but she does have a part to play in at least mitigating an ever-growing global energy crisis. Researchers have identified microbial genes that reside within a cow’s rumen that could potentially break down cellulose, the […]

Butterflies in your stomach

The thought of climate change may leave you with a sinking feeling in your stomach, what with rising sea levels and increasing extinction rates. Research published recently in PLoS has suggested a novel way of helping the planet, although it is unlikely to help the situation in your stomach. Eating insects can, apparently, reduce our […]