HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 c458W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many(a) Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food officials and (b) external contractors were engaged in the execution of the bovine TB study area trials under Professor Bourne on (i) 1 October 1998, (ii) 1 January 1999, (iii) 1 June 1999 and (iv) 1 October 1999. [96066]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 1 November 1999]: The trials are being carried out by the Ministry's Wildlife Unit. Wildlife Unit staff numbers were (i) 74, (ii) 75, (iii) 80 and (iv) 126.

The numbers of external contractors were (i) none, (ii) one, (iii) two and (iv) three.

Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on progress in developing a vaccine against TB for(a) cattle and (b) badgers. [96193]

Ms Quin

The Government are funding expenditure of about £1.4 million a year on vaccine development. The main thrust of the programme in its first five-year phase is to identify vaccine candidates. The work is being carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Institute of Animal Health, drawing on work carried out internationally and in related fields, such as human vaccines, as appropriate. Emerging findings will be published as and when appropriate. At this stage the main development work could apply equally to both a cattle or a badger vaccine.