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Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what definition of research he uses in relation to (a) the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (No. 2) Regulations 2006, Part 2(4) and (b) EC Regulation 999/2001. (79811)

[holding answer 26 June 2006]: It is not possible to define research specifically in the context of the above regulations; indeed, it is not deemed necessary to do so. My Department, in collaboration with other funding bodies, seeks to facilitate investigations that will further scientific knowledge on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) but has to take into account the likelihood of success, scope for sound interpretation of data and relevance to policy needs before funds can be committed. Investigations that are specifically addressed by the above regulations and which are statutory obligations would normally be classed as surveillance, namely investigations that determine the existence of TSEs in individual animals or targeted populations. Research and surveillance are complementary, and evidence arising in one area inevitably impacts on the other.