To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress made in Northern Ireland to eradicate bovine TB. 
Bovine tuberculosis is among the most difficult animal health problems facing Northern Ireland. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has a range of measures in place to control bovine TB. There is an extensive programme of identification and removal of infected animals, combined with control on movements. DARD test all animals annually and all animals that show a positive result to the test are slaughtered. More stringent rules are applied to tests where there is known infection in the herd. Animals may not be moved from infected herds until the problem is resolved. This prevents onward spread.DARD has also recently completed a policy review of all aspects of the existing control measures for this disease to identify what further or different measures are necessary to reduce the incidence of TB. The aim of the Policy Review is to reduce the incidence of TB substantially within five years and to achieve a year-on-year reduction in the meantime. An announcement on taking forward the policy review recommendations will be made shortly.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cattle were infected with tuberculosis in Northern Ireland in each of the last 12 months; what the average period of time taken to remove infected cattle from herds after receiving tuberculosis test results was in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement on how the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is dealing with the problem. 
In the 12 month period from 1 April 2002 there have been 16,359 Bovine Tuberculosis reactors. The average time from completion of the Tuberculin test to slaughter of these reactors is 23.7 working days. The figures for each month are as follows:
|Month||Number of TBreactors||Working days testto slaughter|