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Bovine Tuberculosis

Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in the light of the fall in bovine tuberculosis incidence in Northern Ireland from 9.6 per cent in 2003 to 5.3 per cent in 2007, they plan (a) to introduce annual testing of all animals, and (b) to seek to lease the Northern Ireland real-time computerised cattle tracing system. [HL5505]

We have no plans to do so, although it would be possible to tighten bovine tuberculosis (TB) surveillance and control measures in cattle further in England, with such methods as annual testing and more advanced tracing methods. Such measures would have considerable associated costs and whether they would be worthwhile is as much a question for industry as for government. That is why we are seeking to work with industry to agree the best way forward.