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Cattle: Monitoring

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to introduce the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service cattle monitoring system in England. (186484)

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the National Animal Health Surveillance System (NAHSS), introduced by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. We have no plans to introduce such a system in England.

On 22 October 2003, the 10-year UK Veterinary Surveillance Strategy was launched. It stresses the importance of working in partnership to provide early warning and rapid detection of disease threats facing the UK. In putting the strategy into practice, the aim is to ensure that surveillance activities are prioritised openly and that a clear, well-defined international evidence base exists for all surveillance reports and recommendations. A further aim is to make best use of the surveillance information that we collect.

The strategy reflects an extensive consultation process across the UK, involving colleagues in Government and the veterinary, farming and wildlife sectors. It is an integral part of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy launched in June 2004.