HC Deb 27 January 1947 vol 432 cc602-3
53. Colonel Ropner

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many cows in this country at the present time have been shown at the tuberculosis test to be suffering from tuberculosis in some form; and what steps are to be taken to ensure that adequate safeguards are supplied for the use of milk from such diseased cows thereafter.

Mr. T. Williams

My information relates only to the testing of attested and T.T. herds. I have no information of the number of animals in other herds which may have reacted to the tuberculin test. In 975,000 tests of attested cattle made in 1946, 4,461 animals reacted and In 368,000 tests of T.T. cattle 6,734 animals reacted. Separate figures for cows are not available. In answer to the second part of the Question, reaction to the tuberculin test does not imply infection in the milk of a reactor. The Food and Drugs Act, 1938, prohibits the sale of the milk of a cow affected with tuberculosis in a clinical form or known to have given tuberculous milk; the Tuberculosis Order provides for the compulsory slaughter of such animals.

Mr. Alpass

Does not the Minister agree that one system which would materially assist in the elimination of this disease would be the establishment of a State veterinary service?

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

Would the right hon. Gentleman state what steps he proposes to cake in connection with these reactionary animals?

Mr. Williams

I am not at all sure. I only adopted them 18 months ago. In reply to the first supplementary question, I would like to remind my hon. Friend that we have a State veterinary service.

60. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture if agreement has now been reached between his Department, farmers and the veterinary profession on a national programme for the gradual elimination of bovine tuberculosis.

Mr. T. Williams

No, Sir. A memorandum on the subject has been sent to the organisations mainly concerned, and further discussions will be taking place shortly.

Mr. Hurd

Does not the Minister think it is high time to get a start made on this job?

Mr. Williams

Yes, and discussions are to commence next week.

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