HC Deb 30 April 1956 vol 552 c6
12. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has investigated the cause of the sharp rise in the number of outbreaks of anthrax during the recent winter months; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Amory

Very detailed investigations have been made. Although the specific cause of the unusually high number of cases of anthrax has not been positively established, there is little doubt that it was directly associated with imported feeding stuffs. I am glad to say that there has been a marked decrease in the number of cases confirmed over the last fortnight, and I am hopeful that the disease will soon reach its normal low incidence.

Mr. Champion

I understand that these feeding stuffs were imported under a Board of Trade licence. Is any endeavour made to ensure the reasonable quality of things imported in that way?

Mr. Amory

I should not like to convey the impression that we have got to the bottom of this trouble, but we believe that it is due to imported feeding stuffs, and every attempt is made to reduce the risks there as far as possible. These may apply, however, not only to feeding stuffs of animal origin, such as bone meal, but also to feeding stuffs of vegetable origin, and of course we cannot preclude imported feeding stuffs altogether.

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