HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c669W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action her Department proposes to arrest the spread of bovine tuberculosis; and if she will make a statement. [123394]

Mr. Bradshaw

Defra is working hard to arrest the spread of bovine TB. We are spending £35 to £40 million a year on a programme of public health protection measures, cattle testing, cattle controls and extensive research.

Last autumn we introduced a package of measures in response to industry calls, aimed at helping farmers under TB restriction and improving the diagnosis of the disease.

In February we announced a review of the current TB Strategy. This will form an integral part of Defra's Animal Health and Welfare Strategy. Discussions with stakeholders have begun and public consultation is expected in the autumn.

Discussions with stakeholders are also under way on a series of short-term policy options. These focus on cattle controls and improving the delivery of the TB programme. We will consult on these proposals later this year.