HC Deb 01 May 1958 vol 587 cc578-9
67. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps are taken to see that all hay and straw used in packing imported merchandise is destroyed at the port of entry in order to comply with the regulations imposed under the Foot and Mouth Disease (Packing Materials) Orders, 1925.

Mr. Godber

Importers are not obliged to destroy packing materials at the ports. The Foot and Mouth Disease (Packing Materials) Orders, 1925 and 1926, require hay or straw which has been used for packing purposes to be destroyed if it is not so used again or returned in a crate or box to the sender for further use as packing. Local authorities acting under the Diseases of Animals Acts, enforce the Orders.

Mr. Baldwin

Can my right hon. Friend say what protection this is against the importation of foot-and-mouth disease? Is he aware that, if the hay and straw goes from the port, there is no possible chance of stopping it being used, thrown into pig sties, or whatever it may be, and spreading the disease? Will he take steps to see that this is stopped?

Mr. Godber

Frankly, I do not think that this is one of the sources from which this disease comes. As far as I am aware, no case has been traced to packing materials of this kind, certainly within the last eighteen years. I do not think it is a real source of danger.

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