HC Deb 07 May 2003 vol 404 cc703-5W
Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many herds under movement restrictions to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis have been subject to such controls for(a) more than two years, (b) between one and two years, (c) between six months and one year and (d) less than six months. [110755]

Mr. Morley

Information on the number of herds under movement restrictions in categories(a) to (b) is not available. However, preliminary information, in the form of herds in each category as a percentage of unconfirmed and confirmed incidents resolved in Great Britain in 2002, is given in the following table.

Duration of TB movement restrictions as a percentage of all unconfirmed/confirmed TB incidents in GB ending in 2002
Duration of movement restrictions 1As percentage of all unconfirmed TB incidents 1As percentage of all confirmed TB incidents
(a) more than two years Data not available Data not available
(b) between one and two years 11 48
(c) between six months and one year 8 20
(d) less than six months 81 32
1 Preliminary figures produced by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency from the Vetnet database

Mr. Luff

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in how many of those herds suffering a breakdown following testing for bovine tuberculosis were(a) lesions found at the post mortem of any animal from the herd and (b) tissue samples taken which proved positive for Mycobacterium bovis in each of the last five years. [110756]

Mr. Morley

The number of confirmed new TB breakdowns is given in the following table.

A confirmed TB incident is one in which (i) visible lesions are found in at least one of the slaughtered animals at postmortem examination, and/or (ii) Mycobacterium bovis is cultured from the tissue samples of at least one reactor animal. Separate data on the two categories can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

TB incidents in Great Britain 1998–2002—herds
Year Number of confirmed new herd incidents
1997 503
1998 720
1999 875
2000 1,044
2001 511
2002 11,837–1,962
1 Provisional figures.
Data will remain provisional until all culture results are available and data validation has been carried out.

Sir Michael Spicer

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to publish the results of the present research into the impact of TB in badgers on cattle. [111016]

Mr. Morley

Defra has a wide-ranging bovine TB research programme, comprised of many individual research projects. Once individual projects are complete final reports are published on the Defra website. Some of the projects currently underway are not scheduled to end until 2006.

The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB is reviewing the effect of the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak on the badger culling trial and is expected to provide advice to Ministers on the likely completion date shortly. In addition, an independent audit panel has just been set up to look at the progress of the trial and the likely timescale to which it will produce results.