HL Deb 09 February 2004 vol 656 c138WA
Baroness Byford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they intend to issue further guidance on the use of identification boluses in lambs, particularly in respect of the size of the bolus. [HL1079]

Lord Whitty

Electronic identification boluses are currently being used as a component of the national scrapie plan. All field staff who administer boluses for the NSP, both SVS staff and local veterinary inspectors, undergo practical training in bolus administration which incorporates detailed guidance on the size of bolus to use for different weights of sheep. The size of bolus in use has been kept under review and changes to the bolus used have been made as the scheme has progressed based on experience gained. The most recent update to guidance was issued to all staff on 22 October 2003. In addition to the national scrapie plan use of bolus, the Government are anticipating the widespread use of this technology in the future and have just launched a pilot project on a minimum of 50 commercial sheep farms to assess how industry can make best use of electronic identification and to identify any issues that may arise. Feedback from both the national scrapie plan and the government trial will inform future guidance to the industry on the use of electronic identification including boluses.