HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2290-1
47. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many outbreaks of fowl pest have occurred in Cornwall in recent months; how many birds were destroyed; and how much has been paid as compensation.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

There have been four outbreaks of fowl pest in Cornwall in recent months, all of which occurred in January. One thousand one hundred birds have been slaughtered, involving compensation of about £2,100.

53. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture what assurances he has been given that dead poultry at present being imported from countries where fowl pest is endemic have not suffered from the disease or been in contact with birds that have died from it.

Mr. T. Williams

Arrangements have been made with the Polish Government that should ensure so far as it is practicable to do this, that infected poultry carcases are not sent to this country, and an assurance has been given that these arrangements are being complied with. Similar arrangements were made with the Hungarian Government, though at present poultry is not being imported from that country.

54. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the import of dead poultry from countries where fowl pest disease is endemic.

55. Mr. J. H. Hare

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will give the latest figures of the incidence of fowl pest since his last statement; and if he is now in a position to give a decision as to whether an embargo will be placed on poultry imports from foreign countries where the disease is known to exist.

58. Mr. J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the large number of protests he has now received from branches of the National Farmers' Union, he will ban the import of poultry carcases from countries known to be affected by fowl pest.

Mr. T. Williams

I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table, giving the number of outbreaks of fowl pest confirmed since 25th January, 1951. I am glad to say that the latest figures show a marked decrease in the number of outbreaks. As regards imports, I regret that I cannot at present add to recent statements on this subject.

Mr. Hare

Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance to the House that, if the incidence of this disease increases in the future, he will keep an open mind on the question of an embargo on imports from those countries where the disease is known to be endemic?

Mr. Williams

Yes, certainly.

Mr. Alport

Has the right hon. Gentleman made any protest to the Minister of Food about the continued importation of dressed poultry direct to American Service camps in Norfolk?

Mr. Williams

The hon. Member had better ask the Minister of Food whether I have made any protest or not.

Following is the table:

Number of outbreaks of fowl pest
England and Wales Scotland Total
Week ended:
1st February 45 2 47
8th February 51 9 60
15th February 31 9 40
22nd February 31 6 37
4 days to 26th
February 5 3 8
163 29 192

Forward to