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Hansard June 30th 2010

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100630/text/100630w0004.htm#10063037002113

 

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish her Department's assessment of the scientific evidence which was used to decide on a targeted cull of badgers. [4743]

Mr Paice: We are currently looking at all the key relevant evidence, including published scientific evidence from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) and subsequent post-trial analyses, to draw up proposals which we will publish for consultation.


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Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated cost will be to her Department of carrying out a targeted cull of badgers. [4744]

Mr Paice: The coalition has committed that, as part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB.

We need to consider all the issues carefully, including the scientific evidence, to work out the detail of the package to ensure we get it right. We will be looking at vaccine and culling options as part of that package.

We will set out our proposals in due course, including the estimated costs.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has been made of the area of the country in which (a) badger culling measures and (b) other measures would be necessary in order to carry out the science-led approval to bovine tuberculosis control as set out in the Coalition Agreement; in which areas each type of measures would take place; and if she will make a statement. [4842]

Mr Paice: The coalition Government have committed to introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis, as part of a package of measures on bovine TB. We are currently looking at options including culling and vaccination, and which areas of the country might be affected, and will set out our proposals in due course.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of implementing the science-led approach to the control of bovine tuberculosis in each of the next five years. [4869]

Mr Paice: DEFRA-funded expenditure on bovine tuberculosis in England was 63 million in 2009-10. We are currently looking at options to introduce a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB, and it is not yet possible to provide cost estimates. More generally, it is difficult to forecast TB expenditure accurately because compensation and testing, which account for the largest proportion of annual expenditure on TB, are linked to market values for cattle and to disease levels.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Vaccination

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her plans are for the six badger vaccination demonstration projects approved by the previous Government. [4745]

Mr Paice: On 25 June it was announced that the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project (BVDP) has been reviewed and for the time being will proceed only in one area (Gloucestershire, near Stroud), in order to help maintain capacity at the Food and Environment Research Agency to train lay vaccinators. Badger sett surveys will also be completed in the Gloucestershire area near
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Cheltenham since this was already well under way. The areas in Staffordshire, Herefordshire/Worcestershire and Devon where the BVDP was due to take place will not now be trapped and vaccinated as part of the project.