HC Deb 09 February 1998 vol 306 c75W
Mr. Gray

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the Enfer scientific test available in the Irish Republic. [28622]

Mr. Rooker

We understand the test is capable of detecting abnormal PrP in central nervous system tissues of cattle which are already showing clinical signs of BSE. It has not been shown to be capable of identifying infected cattle early in the incubation periods as far as we are aware.

The Department has been in touch with Enfer Scientific since March 1997, but has been unable to obtain detailed information due to intellectual property issues. Tissues from experimentally infected cattle at known stages of incubation has been offered to Enfer to validate the test by the Department, but the offer has not yet been taken up.