HC Deb 26 October 1954 vol 531 cc1734-5
9. Major Anstruther-Gray

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which counties have been affected by the rabbit disease of myxomatosis; and what evidence he has of any rabbit developing immunity from the disease.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. McNair Snadden)

Up to 25th October, there have been 86 confirmed outbreaks of this disease in all but three of the counties of Scotland. The counties so far free are Dunbarton, Roxburgh and Selkirk. My right hon. Friend has no evidence of any wild rabbits in Scotland having developed immunity to this disease, but he understands that in some parts of England a few rabbits have been found to have anti-bodies to myxomatosis in their blood.

27. Mr. Pryde

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the apprehension expressed in many quarters of the danger of pollution of reservoirs and rural water supplies by the spread of myxomatosis; and if he will make a statement.

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend is aware of no grounds for apprehension. In their report of 16th March, 1954, the Advisory Council on Myxomatosis said that, on medical advice, they were satisfied there was no apparent risk to human health from the disease. No evidence has since been produced to warrant any different view.

Mr. Pryde

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman tell the House what research was undertaken in Scotland before this ugly evil thing was loosed upon the countryside?