HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc973-4W
Andrew George

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department uses the Bovigam gamma interferon test in field trials. [172529]

Mr. Bradshaw

The Bovigam test is being used in Defra's gamma-interferon field pilot.

Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms in Gloucestershire are under movement restrictions due to bovine TB, broken down by constituency; what the figures were in each of the last five years; what action she proposes to take to reduce these figures; and if she will make a statement. [173693]

Mr. Bradshaw

The information requested is not available on a constituency basis. TB data is held by county or Animal Health Divisional Office level.

At 31 March 2004, 201 herds were under TB movement restrictions in Gloucestershire. The information requested for the previous five years for Gloucestershire is given in the following table.

Herds under TB movement restrictions
1999 277
2000 330
20011 180
20022 394
20032 474
1 In 2001, the TB testing and control programme was largely suspended due to the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak. Since testing resumed in 2002, resources have been concentrated on herds with overdue TB tests which would have had a longer period in which to contract the disease Also the proportion of high risk herds being tested post-FMD is greater than that prior to the outbreak. As a result since 2002 the statistical data is not comparable to that of previous years.
2 Includes restrictions imposed for other reasons, such as a TB test being overdue.


Data downloaded from the State Veterinary Service database on 13 May 2004.

This is provisional data, which is subject to change, as more data becomes available. The TB strategy is under review. We issued a consultation document 'Preparing for a new GB strategy on bovine TB' in February 2004. This constitutes the first stage in the development of a long-term strategy for TB, which applies the principles in the overarching Animal and Welfare Strategy.

The consultation also includes proposals for short-term cattle based-measures designed to restrict the geographical spread of the disease. These include such measures as pre- and post-movement testing, reviewing testing frequencies and improving the delivery of the testing and control programme.

We have carried out a number regional workshops in support of the review of the bovine TB strategy including one in Bristol on 16 April 2004, and a national workshop held in London on 12 May.