§ 3. Colonel R. H. Glyn
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the heavy losses caused by outbreaks of foot-and-mouth 5 disease, the majority of which are attributed to carcases imported from South America, and of the opinion of many veterinary surgeons that the infection is carried by the bones of such carcases, he will take steps to ensure that all carcases imported from South America are boned in the country of origin.
§ Mr. Godber
I am advised that boneless meat would have to be frozen and that freezing would be more favourable than chilling to the preservation of virus in the meat.
§ Colonel Glyn
While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask him if it is not true that, in fact, boneless meat is imported into this country and that a great deal of infection is carried by bones in non-boneless meat? Is he aware that a large part of my constituency has been subject to restrictions because of foot-and-mouth disease for about three months, which has caused great losses to farmers, auctioneers, hauliers and others? Will not he look into this matter again?
§ Mr. Godber
I realise the importance of this matter and the concern which is felt in the farming community, but, as far as infection is concerned, I think there is a likelihood that a good deal of this comes from birds from the Continent. On the particular point of freezing, I tried to deal with that in my Answer, but if we were to freeze immediately the bones were taken out, as I am advised we would have to, there would be more risk of the virus rather than less.