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Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to tackle bovine tuberculosis in Devon. (323209)

This Government remain committed to working with industry to reduce bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in all parts of England, including Devon.

We have a package of measures in place to reduce the further spread and incidence of bovine bTB including regular testing of cattle, zero tolerance of overdue tests, pre-movement testing and extended use of gamma interferon. We are also continuing to make significant investment in vaccines. £20 million will be spent on vaccine development during the current spending period. A Badger Vaccine Deployment Project will take place in six high incidence areas (each of 100km2) in England, two of which are in Devon. The aim is that the vaccination of badgers will commence this summer and continue for at least five years in each area.

Since November 2008, DEFRA has worked alongside the farming industry and veterinary profession through the Bovine TB Eradication Group for England to tackle bTB and move towards eradication. On 8 October 2009, the Group published a progress report including a number of recommendations now being implemented.

In November 2009 the EU Commission formally agreed to the UK's Eradication Plan and to provide funding of up to €10 million for 2010. This funding will be shared between DEFRA and the Welsh and Northern Irish administrations.