§ Mr. Paterson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the health implications for (a) ramblers and (b) their children of frequenting country areas in which infective material has been deposited by TB-infected badgers. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw:
I have been asked to reply.
No specific assessments has been made for ramblers and their children.
The threat to public health from bovine TB is low and the disease is treatable. Of the 40 or so cases now seen each year in Britain the majority are in people over 55 years of age. These are thought to have been infected before the introduction of widespread pasteurisation of milk. This figure has remained stable despite the increasing incidence of TB in cattle. The geographical distribution of human cases does not reflect the spread of bovine TB in the cattle population. Arrangements are in place with the Department of Health to investigate the potential links to human health, and monitor human cases of M. bovis.