HC Deb 25 June 1934 vol 291 cc782-3
16. Lieut. - Colonel Sir ARNOLD WILSON

asked the Minister of Agriculture what progress has been made by the foot-and-mouth disease research committee during the last two years; and what, broadly speaking, the results of its investigations have been, more particularly in the direction of preventive treatment by inoculation?


It is difficult to summarise the work of the committee during the last two years within the limits of the reply to a Parliamentary question; and, with the consent of my hon. and gallant Friend, I will send him a memorandum on the subject. I may mention that the Fifth Progress Report of the committee is in course of preparation, and is expected to be available in the autumn.

17. Sir A. WILSON

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Committee, since its appointment 10 years ago, have considered the connection between the quality of the food of cattle and the incidence of this disease; whether the committee are dealing with the question of the prevention of foot-and-mouth disease by a combination of high quality food and improved hygiene; and, if not, whether he will suggest that they should consider the possibilities of this method of eliminating the disease?


The research committee have considered the possibilities mentioned by my hon. and gallant Friend and have advised that there is no evidence to show that diet or hygiene, or a combination of both, have any influence on the spread of foot-and-mouth disease. Clinical observations and experimental work carried out by the committee have in fact shown that animals in very good condition may contract the disease in a more severe form than animals in poor condition.

24. Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that foreign countries will not accept goods packed with straw rope made in England for fear of foot-and-mouth disease, whereas we import the foreign article, both in the raw state and as packing, from countries in which there is much foot-and-mouth disease; and whether he will consider the prohibition of the importation of this article?


My information is that all countries, except the Irish Free State and Jersey, accept goods from Great Britain packed in straw either free from restrictions or subject to an official certificate of disinfection or of freedom of foot-and-mouth disease of the district of origin of the straw. The Orders of the Ministry entirely prohibit the importation into Great Britain from countries where foot-and-mouth disease exists of hay and straw for use as fodder or litter for animals. They also require imported straw used for packing merchandise to be destroyed after use. From the conclusions reached by the Departmental Committee on Foot-and-Mouth Disease in 1925 and subsequent experience, there does not appear to be justification for further prohibition of the importation of this material.

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