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Bovine Tuberculosis


Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Secretary of State met Commissioner Dalli on 14 March 2011 to discuss bovine TB generally and in particular the development and use of a cattle vaccine and a test to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals. The Minister of State met Commissioner Dalli on 6 February 2012, when they spoke about cattle vaccination; this time to support the Commission's draft proposals for a new EU animal health law, which would allow the Commission, with the support of member states, to lift the ban on cattle vaccination when the evidence and appropriate certifications are in place. We continue to lobby hard for a change to EU legislation, but realistically this is still several years away and we cannot be confident other member states will agree to it.

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Two badger control pilots will be carried out from early autumn this year to test our assumptions about the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of controlled shooting. The evaluation of controlled shooting will be overseen by an independent panel of experts, who are expected to report to Ministers before the end of the year. Ministers will then take a decision on whether the granting of culling licences should be authorised in other areas besides the pilot areas, and whether the badger control policy should continue to include controlled shooting as a culling method. We aim to make this decision by January 2013.