HC Deb 15 February 1938 vol 331 cc1679-80
38. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why the county of Ayr has as many as 338 attested tubercle-free herds out of a total of 1,618 registered herds, while the county of Renfrew has only 30 out of a total of 444, and the county of Midlothian only 10 out of a total of 271, respectively, the percentages being 21, 6.7, and 3.7; what are the numbers of cows in the said attested and registered herds, respectively; and what proposals he has with a view to increasing the number of tubercle-free herds in the counties of Renfrew and Midlothian, respectively?

Mr. Elliot

The high percentage of dairy herds attested as free from tuberculosis in the county of Ayr as compared with the counties of Renfrew and Midlothian is due to the greater response which has been made by herdowners in that county to the inducements offered by the attested herds scheme as well as to the fact that dairying is generally more specialised and is of particular importance in Ayrshire. With regard to the second part of the question, as the reply contains a number of figures I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT. With regard to the last part of the question, I would draw the hon. Member's attention to Part IV of the Agriculture Act, 1937, which confers extended powers upon my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to initiate schemes for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain. These powers will come into operation at an early date.

Following is the statement referred to:

The numbers of cows in attested herds in the counties of Ayr, Renfrew and Midlothian were respectively estimated at 10,834, 886 and 475 at 31st January-, 1938. The exact numbers of cows in registered herds in the same counties are not available but are estimated to be 47,000, 11,000 and 6,500 respectively.