§ MR. MARKS (Kent, Thanet)
To ask the hon. Member for North Huntingdonshire, as representing the Board of Agriculture, whether the Board have considered the suggestions made to them in December last by the Canterbury Farmers Club and East Kent Chamber of Agriculture, for the better working of the regulations with respect to local outbreaks of swine fever; whether the Board will arrange, by the employment of veterinary surgeons of the neighbourhood, that when a suspected case of swine fever is notified by the police, a veterinary examination shall be made at once, and that, if, upon examination, it is found not to be swine fever, the suspected premises shall be declared free in fourteen days; and whether the Board will grant greater facilities for obtaining licences for the removal of swine for breeding and other purposes, and take measures to ensure prompt payment for slaughtered animals when slaughter has been found necessary.
(Answered by Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.) The suggestions made by the Canterbury Farmers Club and shortly indicated in the hon. Member's Question have received careful consideration on the part of the Board and were fully dealt with in a letter addressed to the club on January 17th last. On the receipt of a report that swine fever is suspected to exist a veterinary examination is at once made either by one of the Board's veterinary inspectors or by a veterinary surgeon acting on their behalf. If the diagnosis does not point to the presence of disease the premises are freed from restrictions at the end of fourteen days. Arrangements for the issue of licences are made 5 by the local authority and not by the Board. Where the slaughter of swine has been found necessary compensation money is paid at the earliest possible moment.