Hi All,    I am hearing a lot of people say that badgers suckle milk  from cows . Surely this cannot be true, can it?   Is it ,as I suspect, an old wives tale? Because biologically it doesnt make sense does it?  Just when are the badgers suckling because they are nocturnal and the mother cows will be inside at night will they not?  And why should a badger choose a cow? Is there not a problem with reaching up . Also why not suckle from sheep in fields also? Or other mammal species! Quite a few questions I know but I really cannot see badgers doing this can anyone on AAB?

Also can it be true that badgers give cows Bovine Tb? Wouldnt badgers perhaps have their own strain of " badger" TB? And likewise cows have their own strain?
 Tks in advance for replying.

Well, if humans can drink cow milk there is no reason why a badger could not. It seems unlikely that a cow would let another animal like a badger suckle, but it is not impossible to imagine a badger sneaking into a field at night (not all cows sleep in barns) and getting a few drops of milk from the udder of a nursing cow while she sleeps.

As to the TB question, there are many forms of the bacterium that causes TB, and most of them can infect multiple host species. Bovine TB is so-called because cows happen to be especially prone to the infection. But the bacteria can infect other species including badgers. The difference is that the disease is not as deadly in badgers so they can carry it around even though it might not make them sick.