HC Deb 13 March 1958 vol 584 cc595-6
32. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he has taken to bring the official leaflet, "Foot Rot in Sheep," to the notice of flock owners, with a view to the early eradication of this disease.

Mr. Godber

The leaflet is one of a series on animal health published for my Department by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. My veterinary officers bring the leaflets to the notice of individual farmers when appropriate and they are displayed at the Ministry's bookstalls at agricultural shows. We have also asked the National Farmers' Union to draw the attention of their members to the leaflets.

Mr. G. Jeger

Will the hon. Gentleman convey one of these leaflets to the Government Chief Whip to help him to gather in his "flock"?

Mr. Godber

We may have trouble in our feet but hon. Gentlemen opposite have it in their heads.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not think that supplementary question was sufficiently agricultural.

33. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make foot rot in sheep a notifiable disease.

Mr. Godber

Measures to control this disease are well within the capacity of individual farmers, so my right hon. Friend does not propose to do this.

Mr. Champion

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this is a painful disease which is costly to flock owners? Will the Government take every step possible to eradicate this disease which is eradicable?

Mr. Godber

I agree, and if I thought that it would help we would do what the hon. Gentleman asks, but I do not think it is necessary in a case like this. I think this is a matter where explaining to those concerned is the best way to deal with it.

Mr. S. Silverman

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether there is any connection between foot rot in sheep and the Government's defeat last night.

Mr. Grant-Ferris

Is not it a fact that it is not the least bit of use making a disease a notifiable disease unless that course is effective, otherwise it is a confounded irritation to farmers?

Mr. Godber

I indicated that I did not think it was appropriate to do so in this case.