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Bovine Tb

Volume 402: debated on Thursday 3 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the reasons for TB infections in cattle; and what estimate she has made of the percentage of cases that involve cattle-to-cattle transmission. [106662]

The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) attaches a high priority to the relative importance of cattle-to-cattle transmission, but it is not possible to put a percentage figure on it at present. Current research will help fill the gaps. While the badger culling trial is looking at the part badgers might play in the transmission of cattle TB, other research, such as the TB99 epidemiological questionnaire and cattle pathogenesis studies, should provide data about cattle-to-cattle transmission. A research project looking at TB in herds restocked after the foot and mouth outbreak should also provide valuable data. A preliminary analysis of the risk factors associated with cattle TB is set out in the ISG's Third Report, which is available online at: