Effectiveness of a calf-selective feeder in preventing wild boar access
Tuberculosis (TB) transmission between wildlife and domestic animals is usually indirect when they share an interface or visit the same location at different times in order to use the same food and water resources. Preventing aggregation and subsequent contact between domestic and wild animals is a valuable and cheap tool for improving farm biosafety. This study was carried out in a beef cattle farm located in Asturias (Atlantic Spain). Wild boar (Sus scrofa) visited the farm facilities every night to feed in the farm’s calf feeders. Our aim was to design and test the efficacy of a selective feeder for calves that could hinder its use by wild boar. We analyzed the effectiveness of the design using camera trapping. Pictures showed a reduction of 97.8% and 56.3% in the number of wild boar accessing to the selective feeder and in the number of wild boar “around” it, respectively. Those data demonstrate that the selective feeder hindered the access of wild boar to the feed and therefore, reduced the feed-mediated indirect interspecies contacts. Biosecurity measures are promising, cheap, and cost-effective tools for preventing TB and other diseases.
KeywordsCattle Wild boar Selective feeder Indirect contact Tuberculosis
Authors thank the farmer Ángel Merino and Jose Palomo (Eganor S.L.) for their invaluable collaboration. The manuscript has been critically reviewed by Dr. Kevin P. Dalton.
This study was funded by INIA RTA2014-00002-C02-01 (co-funded by FEDER) and the Principado de Asturias, PCTI 2018–2020 (GRUPIN: IDI2018-000237 and FEDER).
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