Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Letter dated 29 October 2007, from Sir David King, Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government and Head of the Government Office for Science


  Thank you for giving me the opportunity yesterday to talk to the EFRA Select Committee about my report on badgers and TB in cattle.

  My office contacted John Bourne on Thursday and repeated my offer of a meeting to discuss those areas of difference between our two reports. However, as was apparent at the session, I think we are broadly in agreement on the interpretation of the scientific evidence.

  During the session, you asked me when David Miliband had asked me to carry out my assessment and I replied that I thought that it was in the week following the publication of the ISG's final report (on 18 June 2007). However, I have now checked the sequence of events and find that, although detailed discussions about the issues to be covered took place in that week, initial discussions had begun earlier. On 31 May, David Miliband noted that following the ISG's final report, it would be important to have an assessment from me of any scientific issues relating to the role that badger culling could play in controlling and reducing levels of cattle TB in England. On 11 June I confirmed that, once the ISG report was received, I would carry out a short assessment of the key scientific issues in this area. Formal terms of reference were not established although discussions about the broad scope began on 4 June.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2008
Prepared 27 February 2008