HC Deb 30 November 1931 vol 260 cc755-6

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the importation of fresh milk from Denmark and Holland; whether such milk is accompanied by any certificate that it is produced under conditions comparable to those enforced in this country under the Milk and Dairies Order; what steps are being taken, having regard to the existence of the disease in Denmark and Holland, to ascertain whether such imports contain the virus of foot-and-mouth disease and to eliminate the risk of the disease being spread in this country; and what action is being taken to require the distributors of such milk to disclose its origin to consumers?


My attention has been called to this matter. Imported milk is not required to be accompanied by a certificate to the effect mentioned in the question; but the Public Health (Imported Milk) Regulations made by the Minister of Health in 1926 require the registration of all consignees of milk—other than condensed or dried milk—from abroad, and further lay down a standard of hygienic quality to which all such milk must conform. As regards the danger of introducing the virus of foot-and-mouth disease, I am informed that under the Danish law all liquid milk exported must have been pasteurised, and that although such pasteurisation is not absolutely required by the Dutch law, it is the practice in Holland to pasteurise milk intended for exportation to this country; and I understand that imported fresh milk is again pasteurised in this country before it is distributed. The process of pasteurisation is fatal to the virus of foot-and-mouth disease. In reply to the last part of the question, no Marking Order applicable to imported milk has been made under the Merchandise Marks Act, 1926, but the question of marking is to some extent. covered by Section 1 of that Act.


If when the Government know that there is a substantial surplus of fresh milk in this country, will the right lion. Gentleman include in his new Bill a provision for keeping out this quantity of imported fresh milk?

76. Captain HENDERSON

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he can now give the House information as to the amount of liquid milk recently imported into this country from abroad?


I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given on Tuesday last to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Oswestry (Major Leighton) respecting the imports of liquid milk during the first 10 months of 1931. The figure for November is not yet available.

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