§ 3. Sir L. Ropner
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many outbreaks of fowl pest occurred during the first ten months of 1954 and for the same period of 1955.
During the ten months to 31st October, 1954, 630 outbreaks of fowl pest were confirmed in England and Wales. The corresponding figure for 1955 is 465.
Confirmed outbreaks of fowl pest are immediately followed by local restrictions on movement. Standstill restrictions over a wider area such as those now operating in Norfolk are imposed as soon as my veterinary advisers consider that they are needed to prevent further spread of disease. It is not possible, however, to relate such restrictions to any particular outbreak.
§ Mr. Dye
Is the Minister aware that his chief veterinary officer in Norfolk has recently stated that he is not getting the co-operation essential for effective control in relation to this infectious disease? Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that the time has come, if we are to stamp out the disease, when we must take action as effective and ruthless as that in dealing with foot and mouth disease among cattle?
I shall certainly not shy away from any steps that I am advised are technically sound to deal with this disease, but we must remember that a single local outbreak is dealt with first by local steps. As soon as the position looks like being serious enough to warrant it, a standstill order is imposed.