More hunting, less tuberculosis

    In our society, increasingly away from rural areas, hunting is strongly challenged despite the legal, socio-cultural and even evolutionary arguments in favour of this activity) Another important reason to defend hunting is their toilet paper. A study just published in the journal American Naturalist suggests that, when an animal population keeps the circulation of a pathogen causing severe disease, removing a proportion of individuals (e.g. hunting) can lead to compensatory growth due to a release of the mortality induced disease. The study, conducted by researchers at IREC in collaboration with others of the Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, has just been presented at the Congress on Hunt CICARC) As an example, the work examines the relationship between hunting, wild boar and tuberculosis. The results indicate that hunting (population control) can reduce the prevalence of diseases and, paradoxically, increase the density of the population. In other words: it is preferable to hunt more, have less tuberculosis and, therefore, less disease mortality and reduced risk of transmission to other species.