HC Deb 25 February 1954 vol 524 cc544-5
9. Lieut-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps were taken to ensure during the past year that the 431,480 cattle, 208,951 sheep and lambs, 11,679 horses, 4,240 greyhounds and 84,215 other animals imported into this country were in all cases necessary to meet essential needs.

Sir T. Dugdale

Apart from the Land-race pigs, only 26 animals, mainly zoological specimens, were imported into Great Britain in 1953 under the provisions of the Diseases of Animals Act which relate to exceptional purposes and where the question of essential needs arises. Imports of live cattle from Canada and of all farm livestock from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (which do not involve the same disease risks) are excepted from the general prohibition of such imports imposed by the Diseases of Animals Act. This no doubt accounts broadly for the figures quoted by my hon. and gallant Friend.

Lieut-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

Can my right hon. Friend explain why in these circumstances his Ministry has prevented enterprising pig breeders in England from obtaining more Landrace pigs with which to improve our bacon ration, especially when such importation is to be allowed on a limited scale in Scotland.

Sir T. Dugdale

We had a limited importation of 120 Landrace pigs into England and Wales last year. The subject is far wider than what is contained in the Question. As I told my hon. Friend the Member for East Aberdeenshire (Sir R. Boothby), I have the position very actively in mind at the present time.

Sir R. Boothby

Is there any reason to suppose that there is a particular danger of infection from importing Landrace pigs from Sweden? I believe there is none.

Sir T. Dugdale

We have to be extremely careful about the importation of any live animals from the Continent.