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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken (a) to improve the training of veterinary surgeons undertaking TB testing and (b) to improve the management of State Veterinary Service staff undertaking TB testing since the DNV Consulting report on Veterinary Surgeons within the Meat Hygiene Service. (125777)

The DNV Consulting Report, ‘Review of TB Testing’ looked at the way instructions, procedures and interpretive material for TB testing were promulgated, reviewed and complied with by local veterinary inspectors (LVIs) in England and Wales. It considered testing by LVIs and staff within the State Veterinary Service (SVS), not the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS). The MHS does not carry out TB testing on live cattle.

A CD-Rom training package is being prepared for use by all veterinary surgeons undertaking TB testing which will be rolled out in the near future. The instructions for carrying out the test have been revised. At the same time we are developing plans for refresher training for SVS staff and more formal monitoring procedures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) beef cows and (b) dairy cows were compulsorily slaughtered because of bovine tuberculosis in (i) Great Britain, (ii) England, (iii) Wales and (iv) each county in each year since 1997; and how many have been slaughtered in 2007. (126160)

The number of cattle, broken down by beef and dairy cows, slaughtered under bovine TB measures in each county of Great Britain, over the time period requested, is not routinely available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. I have arranged for details of the total number of cattle slaughtered under bovine TB measures in each county, from 1997 to 2006, along with provisional data for January 2007, to be placed in the Library of the House.

1998 to 2005 data is also available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/tb/stats/county.htm