HC Deb 25 February 1954 vol 524 cc541-3
5. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture if, in view of the widespread disregard of the Warble Fly (Dressing of Cattle) Order, 1948, he will give immediate publicity to this Order and also take steps to see that it is enforced.

15. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture what further steps he pro- poses to take this year to get fuller cooperation in observing the Warble Fly Order so that real progress may be made in getting rid of this pest which causes loss to farmers and the leather trade.

Sir T. Dugdale

Local authorities are responsible for the enforcement of the Order. In co-operation with them, I propose to arrange an intensive publicity, advisory and educational campaign in the coining months, designed to bring home to owners of cattle their obligations under the Order.

Mr. Williams

While thanking the Minister very much for that satisfactory reply, may I ask if he is aware that it is of little use for one man to dress his cattle against warble fly if none of his neighbours do the same? In many cases farmers dress the cattle which are at the farm and the milking stock and younger stock are nearly always neglected. In some cases it has been done once and not continued over 30 days. Will my right hon. Friend consider taking more snap checks to see that the law is enforced?

Sir T. Dugdale

It is for those reasons that I have intensified the campaign. They are only some of the reasons which bring out the necessity for the Order.

Mr. Hurd

Will my right hon. Friend pay particular attention to cattle coming in at the ports from Ireland, and also cattle at the markets, because in that way he will impress the purposes of the Order most effectively?

Sir T. Dugdale

I will certainly take note of that.

6. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture for an estimate of the annual loss caused by warble flies to the production of meat and milk in this country.

Sir T. Dugdale

I regret that I have no information on which to base a reliable estimate.

Mr. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a very large sum of money is lost every year? Will he consider the use of a dyed derris powder for dressing cattle so that the inspector Who goes along can see at once which have been dressed and which have not?

Sir T. Dugdale

It is a very complicated problem. One can assess the loss of hides. This has definitely gone down, it being £527,000 in 1951 and £305,000 in 1953. It is impossible to assess the loss of meat or milk.

Mr. Baldwin

I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.

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