§ 8. Mr. Hilton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the recent outbreak of fowl pest in Norfolk.
The present series of outbreaks of fowl pest in Norfolk originated near Banham on 19th October. Up to 13th November, 75 outbreaks had been confirmed in the county. Restrictions have been placed on an area comprising the southern part of Norfolk and an adjoining area in East Suffolk. These will be extended as necessary.
§ Mr. Hilton
Does the Minister realise that this disease is now very widespread in Norfolk and it has now extended all over the county from the area where it first started? Further, is he aware that it is a recurring disease coming at all too frequent intervals which not only causes great hardship to many poultry keepers but involves very large sums being paid out by the Exchequer in compensation? Will he as a matter of urgency consider making more money available now to investigate the causes of fowl pest, because more should be done, in the interests of the many poultry keepers, by research, and it is not much good paying out compensation and doing nothing else?
Bearing in mind many of the considerations which the hon. Gentleman has mentioned, he will know that, not so long ago, a committee was set up to go into the very things which he has mentioned.