Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has conducted on whether species of wildlife other than the badger are a significant reservoir for bovine tuberculosis. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Defra-funded research carried out by the Central Science Laboratory, on the risk to cattle from wildlife species other than badgers in areas of high herd breakdown risk, was published on 9 July 2004. Researchers isolated Mycobacterium bovis (the prime causative agent for TB in cattle) in a number of mammalian species, some for first time e.g. muntjac deer. Infection was also found in foxes, stoats, polecats, common shrews, yellow-necked mice, wood mice, field voles, grey squirrels, roe deer, red deer and fallow deer. While isolations from deer are a concern, it is not clear what, if any, contribution any of the species examined in the study make to the problem of TB in cattle.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of whether the availability of rapid assay methods for bovine tuberculosis would assist in the detection of infection in badgers. 
The current TB diagnostic test for badgers, the indirect ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test, is not sufficiently sensitive to provide reliable estimates of TB prevalence in badgers. The sensitivity of the test is 40.7 per cent. and the specificity is 94.3 per cent. when used as a single test.
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Defra is funding research into the development of immunological assays for the detection of Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) infection in badgers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. The project aims to provide Defra with both improved and new diagnostic tools for the identification of M. bovis in badgers. Research is due to end in March 2005.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of tuberculosis outbreaks in cattle over the past five years has been attributed by her officials to badger-to-cattle transmission; and what the percentage was in the previous 10 years. 
Mr. Bradshaw: It is not possible at present to give a valid estimate. Research designed to inform the Government on the relative importance of cattle and badgers as vectors of the disease is continuing.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the likely effects of the loss of tuberculosis-free status in the UK on (a) intra-Community trade, (b) trade with Russia and (c) trade with the rest of the world in all UK cattle products, including milk and dairy products; 
(2) whether the change in the number of tuberculosis outbreaks continues at the rate experienced over the last five years; and whether she expects the tuberculosis-free status of the national herd to be lost. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The increasing rate in the number of tuberculosis (TB) breakdowns (an average increase of 18 per cent. per annum over the period 19862003) will not affect the status of the national herd, because Great Britain, as a whole, does not qualify for officially TB free status according to the criteria set by the EC and the Organisation Internationale des Epizooties. However, individual herds not subjected to TB movement restrictions can be considered Officially TB Free (OTB) for the purposes of international trade in cattle products, including milk and dairy products.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the results of the four counties study on bovine tuberculosis in Ireland are consistent with results recorded from the study at East Offaly. 
Mr. Bradshaw: In the East Offaly study the evidence of cattle infection was measured by reactor animals per 1,000 tests, whereas the main method in the Four Area Study was the odds of new herd restrictions. There was a marked decline over time in the badger removal areas compared to the reference areas in both studies. By the nature of both studies, however, it is difficult to ascribe this reduction definitely to badger removal.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) meetings and (b) communications her Department has had with officials of the Irish Agriculture Ministry concerning the four counties study on bovine tuberculosis in Ireland. 
Defra officials met with officials from the Department of Agriculture and Food, and scientists, at University College Dublin, in October last year. This
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meeting preceded the publication of the Irish Four Area Trial results and the discussion was limited to the expected date of publication.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of whether it is possible for farmers to apply biosecurity measures to their cattle herds which are sufficiently stringent to prevent any cattle-to-badger contact. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 January 2005]: The following table shows UK carbon dioxide emissions in million tonnes of carbon per year CO 2 emissions by economic sector since 1997, consistent with the most recent published information which is contained in the Consultation Paper published in December 2004 for the Review of the UK Climate Change Programme. We have not yet received a full set of sectoral data for 2003 and we hope to do so shortly and will publish as soon as we can.
|Land use change||4.5||4.6||4.5||4.2||4.1||3.7|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her estimate is of the annual cost of the enhanced early retirement scheme for civil servants in her Department and its agencies, for each year from 199798 to 200708; and if she will make a statement. 
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