Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the current status is of his discussions with the European Commission on cattle vaccine trials in England; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what recent progress he has made on discussions with the European Commission on cattle vaccine trials in England; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Heath: EU Commissioner Tonio Borg wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the right hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), on 14 January 2013 setting out the substantial scientific evidence that will be needed before any decision can be taken on lifting the current EU ban on cattle vaccination. For that reason, his view is that it would be reasonable to expect the full process to take 10 years. The Secretary of State and I will continue to discuss this important issue with the Commissioner as and when the need arises.
We are looking for ways to accelerate the work we were already doing on the required experimental research and planning the subsequent large scale trialling of the vaccine that the Commissioner regards as the essential next step. We hope to have successfully completed all the experimental work, including studies on safety of meat and milk, during 2014 so that we can make an application to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate for an Animal Test Certificate to begin the necessary field trials.