§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in the development of a diagnostic test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy; and if he will make a statement on the progress of his research programme into this disease.
§ Mr. Curry
A considerable programme of research is in progress, including priority work to try and develop a diagnostic test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. However, the nature of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, including its long incubation period, means that answers cannot be expected for some time.