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Bovine Tuberculosis: Testing

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 14 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to introduce lay testers for bovine tuberculosis following the recent pilot study. (141100)

We are considering how to introduce lay testing for bovine tuberculosis. However, final decisions have still to be taken on whether to proceed.

Details of the Animal Health pilot study have been circulated and discussed with interested parties. The pilot has demonstrated that lay staff can successfully be trained to carry out this work under veterinary supervision. However, we recognise that extending the principle of lay testing raises some important issues. These need to be fully explored with the veterinary profession and other interested parties before firm proposals can be developed.