Action: Eliminate highly virulent diseases early in an epidemic by culling all individuals (healthy and infected) in a defined area
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects on mammals of eliminating highly virulent diseases early in an epidemic by culling all individuals (healthy and infected) in a defined area.
'We found no studies' means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Culling is a well-established approach for the management of some diseases in domestic animals, and although it has been used in an attempt to eliminate disease or reduce rates of transmission in a range of wild mammal species (Carter et al. 2009), the culling of diseased wild mammals for conservation is rarely attempted, probably due to ethical and ecological considerations (Woodroffe 1999). Nonetheless, prompt culling of all animals in an area might have potential to control or eliminate disease outbreaks and reduce longer-term negative impacts of disease on populations (McCallum 2008).
Carter S.P., Roy, S.S., Ji, W.H., Cowan, D.P., Smith, G.C., Delahay, R.J., Rossi, S. and Woodroffe, R. (2008) Options for the control of disease 2: Targeting hosts. Pages 121-146 in: R.J. Delahay, G.C. Smith & M.R. Hutchings (eds) Management of disease in wild mammals. Springer, UK.
Woodroffe R. (1999) Managing disease threats to wild mammals. Animal Conservation, 2, 185–193.
McCallum H. (2008) Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease: lessons for conservation biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 23, 631–637.