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Volume 281: debated on Wednesday 17 July 1996

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research including risk assessment and full economic audit his Department has (a) carried out or (b) commissioned, on alternatives to the quarantine-based rabies control procedure; and what conclusions he has drawn. [35765]

The Government made it clear, in their response to the Agriculture Select Committee report on health controls on the importation of live animals, that they did not believe that the time was yet right for any changes to be introduced to the current quarantine arrangements for pet animals coming into this country.

No specific research, risk assessment or economic audit has therefore been commissioned on what alternatives might be introduced. None the less, Ministers receive regular advice from officials on all aspects of rabies control, including the risk of introducing the disease.