§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been carried out on the likelihood of rabies affecting bat colonies. 
§ Mr. Morley
For the last 15 years Defra has undertaken a survey for the rabies virus in bats found dead or ill. About 200 bats a year have been examined and the rabies related virus, European Bat Lyssavirus, has been found in only two Daubenton's bats.
In 2003, when bats have stopped hibernating, we intend to increase our surveillance and visit bat roosts and take blood samples from live bats for testing for European Bat Lyssavirus.