HC Deb 30 November 1950 vol 481 cc1315-6
52. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture what further outbreaks of fowl pest have occurred in Norfolk; and the number of poultry involved.

Mr. T. Williams

There has been one further outbreak in Norfolk during the past week. There were 228 birds on the premises where the disease occurred, and all were slaughtered.

Mr. Dye

In view of the incidence of this disease and its disastrous nature should not there be a further inquiry into the best method of preventing its spread, in view of the enormous increase in poultry in the country?

Mr. Williams

I can assure my hon. Friend that research is going on all the time in order to find a cure for, and also the prevention of, this disease.

Mr. Dye

Has it not something to do with marketing?

Mr. Williams

My hon. Friend must know that during the whole of this year and last we have exercised control over the movement of poultry as between area and area, county and county, and as between England and Scotland, too.

Captain Duncan

Can the Minister say what is the reason for this latest outbreak and whether his right hon. Friend the Minister of Food is the nigger in the woodpile?

Mr. Williams

I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that I did not convey the pest. It is just possible that the owner himself, who is a smallholder and who is also employed on the premises of a poulterer, who makes purchases over a wide area, conveyed the disease from where he works to his own smallholding.

Major Sir Thomas Dugdale

Have there been any further outbreaks in the country during the past week?

Mr. Williams

I could not say without notice.

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