HC Deb 30 May 1960 vol 624 cc968-9
4. Mr. Morris

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will give an estimate of the annual loss to the agricultural industry from cows contracting mastitis.

Mr. John Hare

Mastitis is not notifiable and any estimate of losses from it must be guesswork. It does however effect the national dairy herd to a quite considerable degree.

Mr. Morris

Is the Minister aware that the Americans, as part of their National Livestock Loss Reduction Year, have made the prevention of mastitis the subject of a special inquiry? In view of the great cost which this is causing to the dairy industry every year, will he consider special research into this problem with a view to eliminating mastitis?

Mr. Hare

A great deal is being done about this, as I think the hon. Member knows. The use of antibiotics has made a considerable contribution in dealing with the disease. My advisory service is constantly drawing the attention of farmers to the need for strict hygiene, good management and the use of suitable disinfectants. This is constantly being kept before the eyes of the farming community.

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