HC Deb 14 December 1961 vol 651 cc610-1
8. Sir A. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made this year in testing systemic insecticides and other treatments to deal with warbles in cattle; and if he is planning to start a national campaign next year to eliminate this pest which causes heavy losses to farmers and the leather trade.

Mr. Vane

Trials have been carried out this year with a comparatively new systemic dressing and a single application gave satisfactory results against warbles. We are at present considering our future action against this pest.

Sir A. Hurd

Will my hon. Friend press on with this task? We have had the warble fly Order, or something of the kind, for many years, but we do not seem to get on top of this pest. Will he try by next spring to get a rather better and more forceful policy?

Mr. Vane

The new chemical developments may help. Derris dust sprayed on to the backs of cattle has long given only incomplete results.

Mr. Wise

Has not a great deal of the difficulty arisen because present regulations for dealing with the pest have not been observed and have fallen into disuse? Will not the same thing happen with the new insecticides unless more rigorous steps are taken to see that the regulations are observed?

Mr. Vane

That is one of the things which we are considering, because the present regulations are not entirely satisfactory, especially in the light of these chemical developments.