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Bovine Tuberculosis

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many cases are before the courts on challenges to the accuracy of the test for bovine tuberculosis. (186485)

One farm business has issued legal proceedings against DEFRA, a date has yet to be set for the claim to be heard.

Their claim for judicial review disputes the validity of the results of gamma interferon TB tests within their herds. The claimant is challenging DEFRA's decision not to re-test (using the tuberculin skin test) cattle within their herd that have had a positive reaction to the gamma interferon test. DEFRA has been put on notice that three other farm businesses are intending to issue proceedings on the same basis, but has agreed with those farmers that their animals will not be slaughtered pending the outcome of the judicial review. It is expected that this case will determine the issues in respect of all four complaints.