Animal diseases

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Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on animal health and diseases. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs. Additional material on animal experiments is available.

Commons Briefing Papers

31.08.2016Badgers: Culls in England
The UK Government is committed to eradicating bovine TB and takes the view that badger culling in areas with high incidence of TB in cattle in England is an effective part of this strategy. Controlled shooting of badgers was trialed in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, a badger cull continued in these two areas and was extended to a third area in Dorset. The Government has announced that badger control will take place over a wider number of areas in England in 2016. However, badger culling as a means of controlling TB in cattle remains a contentious policy.
18.01.2016Animal Experiment Statistics
In 2014 3.8 million procedures were completed on regulated living animals representing a decrease of 6% compared to 2013. This note summarises and analyses trends in data, including the growth of universities as the dominant seat of research on animals, the decline of research for toxicological purposes, and the growth in animal procedures for cancer research.
13.05.2015Bovine Tuberculosis Statistics: Great Britain
In 2014 there were 4,700 new herd incidents of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Great Britain, and 4.2% of tests on TB-free herds led to TB-free status being withdrawn. This note presents statistics measuring the incidence of bovine TB in Great Britain.
11.06.2014Badger Culling : Alternatives
TB vaccination of badgers and cattle: Policy in England and Wales and progress in developing useable vaccines
23.05.2014EU bibliographies: Food safety legislation: review package
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposals to strengthen and simplify health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain and their scrutiny in the UK and EU, published on 6 May 2013. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Emma Downing on extn 6787.
11.03.2014Badger Cullling: TB Control Policy
TB badger control policy in England and Wales.
11.03.2014Badger Culling: Krebs Trials and Policy to 2008
Randomised badger culling trials (RBCT) carried out by the previous Government and policy to 2008 summarised.
this note covers issues of importance to sheep farming, including welfare, electronic tagging and diseases
22.02.2011Animal cloning
A number of commentators have raised concerns about the implications of animal cloning for food safety, food supply and animal welfare. Others stress that animal cloning has the potential to improve animal welfare and farming productivity. It may even be used in the conservation of endangered species. This note sets out background information on the different arguments and the regulatory controls on the use of this technology in food production.
08.11.2001Animal Health Bill (Bill 39 of 2001-02)
Animal Health Bill (Bill 39 of 2001/02). House of Commons Library Research Paper 01/89.


04.11.2014GM Insects and Disease Control
Insects play a critical role in ecosystems, but can also cause economic and social harm by transmitting diseases to humans and livestock, and damaging crops. Genetically modified (GM) insects could be used alongside other approaches to mitigate harms. This POSTnote summarises possible benefits, risks and uncertainties associated with their deployment.
14.10.2013Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment
Disease causing bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic drug treatment. Diseases once controlled by antibiotics are re-emerging as serious risks to human health. This POSTnote outlines the hazards posed by resistant bacteria, the sources of resistance in the environment and measures that may reduce these risks globally.
12.04.2013Livestock Vaccines
This POSTnote examines the use of vaccines and outlines the pros and cons of using vaccination in livestock.
12.10.2011Improving livestock
This note describes current technologies used in livestock breeding, research into future technologies and how the improvement of livestock can contribute towards future food security.
12.10.2011Livestock disease
This POSTnote examines disease threats to UK livestock, outlines prevention and control measures, and looks at factors likely to contribute to future disease.
01.02.2009Wild deer, February 2009
This POSTnote examines the current status of wild deer in the UK, their ecological, economic and social impacts and legislation on their management.

Select Committee Reports

17.06.2009The health of livestock and honeybees in England.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
31.03.2009Regulatory Reform Committee.
Regulatory Reform Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the publication of the scientific paper Multiple routes of pesticide exposure for honey bees living near agricultural fields, reporting the recent findings of ...
That this House notes that the title veterinary nurse is not protected, despite all veterinary nurses who are listed with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) having undertaken ...
That this House notes that 2011 is World Veterinary Year, marking the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the world's first veterinary school; recognises the key role of veterinarians ...
That this House welcomes the decision of Professor Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to initiatea review of all the ...
14.03.2011BADGER CULLS
That this House notes the encouraging downward trend in bovine TB incidence in England and Wales; urges the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairsnot to put these ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses