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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Labour, West Bromwich East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will publish the interim results of the proactive badger strategy.

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

The Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) undertakes interim analyses of data collected from the proactive treatment areas of the RBCT at six-monthly intervals. The ISG advise that analyses of such data collected so far has not yielded a statistically significant result. Any significant interim findings will be reported to Ministers without delay.

On 6 April, DEFRA announced the publication of a report from an independent scientific panel chaired by Professor Charles Godfray FRS reviewing the progress of the RBCT and associated DEFRA research, as part of a wider review of DEFRA's science. The report recommended that DEFRA policymakers should have access to the the interim results from the RBCT. The recommendation did not encompass full publication. Even so, it was challenged by the ISG and the matter is still under consideration.

We have been advised by the ISG that a full set of trial data from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) should have been gathered by the end of 2006. A full report will follow, with publication as soon as possible thereafter.

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