15. What discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on the spread of the Schmallenberg virus. (97389)
DEFRA officials have been in regular contact with officials from all the devolved Administrations—including those from the Welsh Government—to discuss the Schmallenberg virus. There have been meetings and regular reports on the situation, both national and international.
I hope—as, obviously, does the hon. Gentleman—that the virus does not spread as far as Wales. We believe that it has come, midge-borne, across the channel, and, as I said earlier, we hope that it will not continue to spread. However, we do not consider it necessary to revisit the issue of the two laboratories in Wales. As has been said repeatedly before Committees at which the hon. Gentleman has been present, we believe that the overall laboratory services will be sufficient, under the reorganisation, to continue the surveillance.
I assure my hon. Friend that we have no plans to introduce any export restrictions, and that, although one or two third-party states are beginning to raise question marks over not just UK but European livestock because of Schmallenberg, any further regulations will be based on the best scientific advice.