Bovine TB

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made of whether infection of M. bovis bacillus between infectious female badgers and their offspring leads to an increase over time in the incidence of infection within a social group.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

From research carried out by the Central Science Laboratory, it is believed that the transmission of infection from mothers to cubs may be important in the maintenance of TB infection in badger populations. There is a correlation between the presence of infectious females in a group and the proportion of TB positive cubs. No information is available as to whether this has influenced the incidence of infection within a social group over time.

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