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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether restrictions have been placed on the use of the grant provided by the European Commission Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health for implementation of the Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication Programme in respect of the operation of the programme in Wales. (295904)

The Commission's Decision clearly sets out what the UK including Wales is able to apply for in terms of reimbursements for the costs of tuberculin testing, gamma interferon blood testing and compensation for cattle slaughtered. This is not a restriction; it is a rule of the funding programme that the UK Bovine TB Eradication Plan for 2010 is an application to.

The Decision sets out the maximum of the costs that member states can claim for each:

Tuberculin test: €1.75 per test

Gamma-interferon test: €5 per test

Compensation: €375 per animal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the merits of testing for bovine tuberculosis annually in all parishes, as is done in Wales. (297031)

The Bovine TB Eradication Group for England has recently reviewed the approach taken to setting routine TB testing frequencies to a risk based approach as announced in its report published on 8 October. Extending more frequent routine TB testing to more of the country would come at a high cost. As TB is a largely regional issue, concentrated in England in the south west and west midlands, with large areas in the north and east predominantly clear, this risk based approach is deemed a more proportionate and effective use of resources.