HC Deb 22 November 1926 vol 200 cc13-4
32. Captain GUNSTON

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that peat moss imported from Holland is being used as litter for stock and is afterwards spread on the land as manure; if he will inquire whether foot-and-mouth disease is prevalent in Holland; and, if so, take steps to prohibit the import of peat moss into this country?


The answer to the first par is in the affirmative. Owing to the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease in Holland imports of farm produce such as hay and straw for use as fodder or litter are prohibited. Seeing that peat moss litter is not generally produced on farms, and there is no evidence connecting an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease with its use, I have not felt justified in prohibiting its entry.


If I can place proof in the right hon. Gentleman's hands that this litter is actually being sold and placed on the land in Gloucestershire, will he reconsider the matter?


It is not merely a question of whether it is to be used on a farm here. What we are primarily concerned about is the conditions of production, and whether it originates in an area where it is likely to be infected by foot-and-mouth disease. I am informed it comes from a part of Holland where there is little or no grazing; it is baled on the moors and sent down a canal direct for shipment.

33. Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

asked the Minister of Agriculture the yearly expenditure on research for foot-and-mouth disease during the past three years; how much it is proposed to spend in the future; and what progress has been made in the discovery of the origin of the disease?


The actual expenditure of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Committee was £6,546 in the year ended 31st March, 1925, and:C9,521 in the year ended March last. In the current year the estimated expenditure is £15,000. So far as can be at present foreseen, the future requirements of the Committee may be expected to be in the neighbourhood of £15,000 a year. A first progress Report, giving full information of the Committee's activities, was published last year, and a second Report is in the Press. Broadly speaking, the Committee are making some progress along several different lines of attack; but the whole problem is still obscure.

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