The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 24th January 2023:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 5 December 2022 (HL3620), how much they have invested into research into an avian influenza vaccine.
Lord Benyon (Con): Defra funds research directly or by leveraging funding through UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), a BEIS-funded non-governmental public body of which the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is a research council partner. In the last five years, £4.3 million has been invested in research, funded through BBSRC, either solely focussed on avian influenza vaccines, or as part of wider projects for poultry disease control.
The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 6th December 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government how many of the poultry or other captive birds culled for avian influenza since the start of the outbreak on 27 October 2021 were free from infection at the time of culling.
Lord Benyon (Con): Not all birds on infected premises are tested. It is therefore not possible to estimate accurately the number of uninfected birds on the premises at the point of culling.
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The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answers on 5th November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what international discussions they have had about supporting research into avian influenza vaccines.
Lord Benyon (Con): Defra continues to invest in avian influenza research and monitors the situation in Europe and globally. International collaboration and knowledge exchange is facilitated through discussions between the UK Chief Veterinary Officer and her counterparts in the EU and globally through the World Organisation for Animal Health. Both the UK CVO and representatives from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) avian influenza national reference laboratory were present and engaged in discussion with their global counterparts at the recent International Alliance for Biological Standardisation conference on High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) Vaccination Strategies to Prevent and Control HPAI held in Paris in October.
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The Bishop of Exeter asked a question regarding further funding for a government project to combat avian influenza on 3rd November 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Exeter: My Lords, earlier this year, His Majesty’s Government announced the establishment of a new flu map research project, which aims to help us better understand the transmission and spread of avian flu. Along with many others, I welcome the £1.5 million in funding by the Government, but in the light of the severity of this current outbreak, have the Government undertaken an assessment of the need for additional and further funding for this project, mindful of the fact that prevention is better than cure?
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The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 31st October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what progress they have made with the (1) treatment, and (2) prevention, of bird flu since the establishment of a research consortium on the issue announced on 20 June.
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The Bishop of Exeter received the following written answers on 25th April 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Exeter asked Her Majesty’s Government how many cases of avian flu were reported in the UK in the years (1) 2019, (2) 2020, (3) 2021, and (4) 2022 so far.
Lord Benyon (Con): In 2019, one case of notifiable avian influenza was confirmed in the UK, a case of Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI) H5N3 in England.
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