asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the principal target organs in carcasses of badgers examined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the period 1974 to 1998 that had died or had been killed in extremis from bovine tuberculosis were (a) lungs plus associated lymph nodes (glands); and (b) kidneys; and what was the proportion of each. [HL1109]
Most of the badgers examined by MAFF between 1974 and 1998 were either trapped and killed as part of badger removal operations subsequent to cattle breakdowns or killed in road traffic accidents.Of the 44,286 carcasses examined in this period, 5,690 cultured positive for Mycobacterium bovis. Of these (a) 1,281 badgers had visible lesions in either the lungs or associated lymph nodes and (b) 342 had visible lesions in the kidneys.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the principal routes by which infection is spread from badger to badger is (a) respiratory, and (b) through bite wounds. [HL1111]
Evidence from post-mortem examination and live clinical sampling suggests that the principal route of Mycobacterium bovis infection among badgers is likely to be respiratory. However, M. bovis has also been isolated from bite wounds, although, whether these resulted from transmission by biting or haematogenous spread following another portal of entry is unclear.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Further to the Written Answer by Lord Whitty on 7 February
(WA 90), why the Independent Scientific Group has refused to disclose the results of postmortems on badgers; whether the results are known to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and whether the results should be in the public domain. [HL1306]
The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB advises that the results of the post-mortems of badgers should not be disclosed at present to avoid either encouraging illegal action against badgers or deterring participation in the randomised badger culling trial (RBCT).The results of badger post-mortems are not yet available to Defra. The RBCT is still incomplete, and the documentation on the statistical analysis carried out so far, and other trial data, is still in draft form. The trial data, and analyses of these, will be published when the trial is complete.
asked Her Majesty's Government:How many badger carcasses were examined by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food between (a) 1974 and 1995; (b) 1996 and 1998; and (c) 1998 and 2004 in the United Kingdom; how many were found to be positive for
Mycobacterium bovis; and what are the numbers in each case for England and Wales, and for each county within England and Wales. [HL1133]
The table below shows the total number of badger carcasses examined, and the number found positive for Mycobacterium bovis, between 1974–95 and 1996–98 in Great Britain and for each county in England and Wales.We are unable to supply figures for 1998–2004 as the majority of badgers caught during this period were taken as part of the ongoing badger culling trial. The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB advises that these results should not be disclosed at present to avoid either encouraging illegal action against badgers or deterring participation in the badger culling trial. However, information on the location of badgers killed in road traffic accidents, where TB is diagnosed, is released to divisional veterinary managers to inform the measures they take with respect to disease control in cattle in the vicinity.Table: Total number of badger carcasses examined, and the number found positive for M. hovis, between 1974–95 and 1996–98 in Great Britain and for each county in England and Wales.
|Region/County||Number of badgers examined||Number positive for M. bovis||Number of badgers examined||Number positive for M. bovis|
|Hereford & Worcester||757||55||946||362|
|Isle Of Wight||7||—||—||—|
|Region/County||Number of badgers examined||Number positive for M. bovis||Number badgers examined||Number positive for M. bovis|
|Tyne & Wear||10||—||—||—|
asked Her Majesty's Government:Why no badger carcasses from Gwent were examined for
Mycobacterium bovis between 1996 and 1998. [HL1134]
During the period 1996–98, 133 badgers carcasses from Gwent were examined by MAFF as part of the bovine TB programme.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Why no badger carcasses from Shropshire were examined for
Mycobacterium bovis between 1974 and 1978. [HL1135]
No badger carcasses from Shropshire were examined by MAFF between 1974–78 as part of the bovine TB control programme since Shropshire was not badly affected by the disease in this period.