HL Deb 25 February 2003 vol 645 cc14-5WA
Baroness Byford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What extra resources have been made available in both human and financial terms to catch up with the Krebs tuberculosis trials since the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001. [HL1537]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty)

Field work associated with the Krebs badger culling trial was suspended during the foot and mouth disease outbreak as a disease control measure. Normal field operations resumed fully during 2002. An additional £300,000 was made available to the Central Science Laboratory (CSL) (£50,000 to provide additional manpower during the busiest part of the year and £250,000 for additional survey work). £900,000 was made available for replacement traps etc.

During 2002–03 an additional £3 million has been made available to the State Veterinary Service (SVS) to recruit staff to help clear the backlog of overdue "TB tests and to cope with the increase in numbers of TB breakdowns. Local veterinary inspectors who carry out much of the routine and backlog TB testing have significantly stepped up their work on behalf of Defra, resulting in an increased spend in this area as well. Veterinary Laboratories Agency costs associated with laboratory diagnosis of bovine TB have also been increased substantially. It is not possible to identify separately the proportion of these additional resources which were directed to badger culling trial areas.

In addition, new contracts were placed with the CSL to collect badgers killed in road traffic accidents at a cost of £90,000 and with ADAS to work on TB99 questionnaires at a cost of £150,000.

Forward to