§ Mr. Rooker
[holding answer 7 July 1997]: The British Isles is an internationally recognised rabies free zone for terrestrial animals. We do not allow unrestricted access to rabies vaccine because its use, except for animals going for export or those going into quarantine, is unnecessary.
§ Mr. Key
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made in concluding the revised protocol on the rabies antibody test referred to in theOfficial Report, 19 February, column 513; and if the mutual recognition of the test results referred to in the Official Report, 3 March, column 444, has been agreed. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The International Office for Epizootics (OIE) has considered the revised protocol and published it as the OIE standard recently. Whilst this is a small step in overcoming the problems of test result variability, we understand that only two laboratories are using the new protocol. The OIE is also making arrangements for a new canine standard serum to be calibrated and validated for use with this test to ensure that different laboratories produce comparable results. As far as we are aware these arrangements are still being made and no timescale for completion of the work is known.