HC Deb 13 March 2003 vol 401 cc367-8W
Mr. Flook

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what(a) research she has collated and (b) guidance she has given on the susceptibility of red deer to bovine tuberculosis; and what assessment she has made of the likely impact of bovine tuberculosis on the red deer herd on Exmoor. [102147]

Mr. Morley

The information is as follows.

(a) Defra is funding the Central Science Laboratory to carry out research into the risk to cattle from wildlife species other than badgers in areas of high herd breakdown. The research project is proceeding according to plan and the findings will be published in due course.

(b) Mycobacterium bovis is isolated almost every year from wild red deer specimens submitted to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency as part of the statutory requirement to notify suspect lesions in deer carcases. In 2002 there was one positive isolate from a red deer from Exmoor. There has been no formal assessment of the effect of bovine tuberculosis on wild deer populations.

Statutory controls are in place to deal with bovine tuberculosis in farmed deer.

Forward to