Peru: Culling bats after rabies outbreak found to be an ineffective strategy to prevent livestock loss

Updated Mar 14, 2023
A team of biologists at the University of Glasgow, working with colleagues from several institutes in Perú, has found that culling bat colonies after a rabies outbreak in livestock is not an effective way to halt the spread of the disease. In their study, published in the journal Science Advances, the group studied infection rates and conducted viral genome sequencing to better understand rabies transmission in bats to livestock.
For many years, cattle ranchers and other livestock managers in South America have been battling periodic outbreaks of rabies. And while the disease is transmitted by a variety of creatures, the primary threat to livestock is believed to come from vampire bats. Such bats find easy meals preying on defenseless domesticated animals. The wounds they leave can sometimes lead to skin infections, but the diseases they carry hold the greatest threat. Of primary concern is rabies, which is lethal. The traditional means for combating such outbreaks has been using one or more types of vampiricide—poisons that are spread from bat to bat, killing them. Historically, vampiricides have been used in two ways, either before or during outbreaks. Neither approach has been rigorously tested for effectiveness. In this new effort, the researchers sought to determine whether culling bat colonies via vampiricides is an effective means of combating rabies outbreaks. The work involved first studying ...
By clicking “Accept Cookies,” I agree to provide cookies for statistical and personalized preference purposes. To learn more about our cookies, please read our Privacy Policy.