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Animals: Disease Control

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent review he has undertaken of his Department's contingency plans, including for (a) the mobilisation of veterinary staff and (b) tackling future animal disease outbreaks. (197993)

DEFRA'S latest revised generic Contingency Plan for Exotic Animal Diseases for England, which includes arrangements for the mobilisation of veterinary staff, was laid before Parliament on 10 December 2007. The plan is amended annually (as required under the Animal Health Act 2002) and covers arrangements for dealing with a range of exotic animal diseases.

The aim is to ensure that the Government and others have contingency plans in place to deal with disease outbreaks. The effective and speedy deployment of veterinary staff and expertise has long been a prime consideration.

Dr. Iain Anderson conducted an independent review into the lessons learned from the response to the 2007 outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and the Government are considering the recommendations made. The review is published on the DEFRA website.