HC Deb 10 November 1953 vol 520 cc759-60
33. Major Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how far the disease of myxomatosis has been reported among rabbits in Scotland; to what extent this disease is confined to wild rabbits; and what is the policy of his Department in the matter.

Mr. J. Stuart

I have received no reports of outbreaks of this disease in Scotland, but the North of Scotland College of Agriculture are conducting experiments with the virus on a few small islands. I understand that myxomatosis may affect domestic rabbits and, perhaps, hares as well as wild rabbits. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and I have set up a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington to advise us on this matter.

Mr. Hastings

Is the Minister convinced that this disease can be confined to an island and will not spread to the mainland?

Mr. Stuart

That is the advice which I have received. I think that that is the case. I hope so.

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