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Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 25 January 2007

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Badgers

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department expects to undertake research on the use of Polymerase Chain Reaction technology to detect M. bovis in badger setts; and if he will make a statement. [110858]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department, in collaboration with other researchers in the UK, is already developing procedures to detect “Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis)” from live badgers and their excretions using Polymerase Chain Reaction. The results for detection of M. bovis at setts reported by researchers at Warwick are encouraging, but the test needs to be fully validated prior to consideration for use in the field or for routine diagnosis. We are currently considering research proposals on how best to put in place the work that is needed to take this forward.