HC Deb 22 November 1960 vol 630 cc951-3
10. Mr. Hendry

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to prevent the future movement of cattle to Scotland from England when cases of foot-and-mouth disease have occurred in the latter country.

Mr. Maclay

No, Sir. When an outbreak occurs full use is made of the powers to declare infected and controlled areas and to prohibit movement of stock over broad stretches of the country. I am satisfied that this is the right way to deal with the problem.

Mr. Hendry

Would not my hon. Friend agree that there is oonsiderable traffic in beef cattle from England to Scotland, particularly to Aberdeen, which is not normally bona fide movement, and which, quite apart from anything else, is likely to spoil the reputation of Scottish beef? Could bona fide traffic of this kind not be dealt with by licences? If not, is there any radical difference between cattle and hens, because fowl pest is dealt with in precisely the same way?

Mr. Maclay

I would not like to comment at short notice on the first part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question. On the second part, about whether some system of licensing would be desirable, I think he will appreciate that, in view of the incubation period for the disease, which can be seven days or more, a licensing system would not be effective unless it was permanent, and a permanent licensing system might have unexpected and rather grave consequences on a very important trade.

Mr. Stodart

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is another step which he could take to achieve the result which is desired, and that is to give further encouragement to people to breed more cattle in Scotland so that the traffic from England would not be necessary?

Mr. Maclay

I hope that that will be duly noted by all those who might be interested in breeding cattle in Scotland.

22. Mr. Grimond

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the alterations to marketing arrangements consequent on the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Mr. Maclay

Store markets are prohibited in both controlled and infected areas. All movements within these areas must be licensed by local authorities and no animals may be moved out of either controlled or infected areas. Fatstock markets may be conditionally licensed but not within five miles of an outbreak.

Mr. Grimond

Does that mean that all Orkney marketing is now stopped? Has the right hon. Gentleman any information as to how this disease has spread to Orkney?

Mr. Maclay

It is still rather early to give a definite answer to the second part of the hon. Member's question. I should like to write to him. I received some information this morning which I have not yet been able to digest. The position with regard to marketing is governed by my original Answer. Unless a conditional licence is granted, marketing must be at a standstill.

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