§ Mr. Matthew Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research the Government have 447W (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into any correlation between cattle-associated occupations and bovine tuberculosis in people; and if the recent increase in bovine tuberculosis in cattle has caused an increase in bovine tuberculosis in the local human population. 
§ Yvette Cooper
There is no evidence at present that the increase in bovine tuberculosis in cattle has led to an increase in bovine tuberculosis in the local human population.
The number of isolates of M.bovis from human cases of bovine tuberculosis in England and Wales has varied from 22 to 37 per year between 1993 and 1998 with no trend to increase or decrease. The numbers of cases arising in those regions of England and Wales with the greatest increase in bovine tuberculosis in cattle (South West, Wales and West Midlands) have remained low and have also varied from year to year with no increasing or decreasing trend.
If the risk of tuberculosis due to M.bovis infection was increasing in the population generally as a result of bovine tuberculosis in cattle, an increase in tuberculosis notifications in young children (the group least likely to have other explanations for tuberculous infection) might be expected in the part of the country most affected by bovine tuberculosis. The number of cases of tuberculosis notified in children (less than 15 years of age) in the South West Region has remained low between 1993 and 1998. At the request of the Department of Health, the Public Health Laboratory Service has looked at existing data to investigate whether there is a correlation between cattle-associated occupations and bovine tuberculosis. The Department has not commissioned additional research.