HC Deb 07 December 1971 vol 827 cc1111-2
15. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will give special help to farmers in brucellosis eradication areas, whose herds have an exceptional incidence of this disease.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

My right hon. Friend and I have already agreed with the Farmers' Unions that heavily infected herds may present a special problem and that we will review the position next summer in the light of our experience in the initial areas to see whether herds of this kind need any additional assistance.

Mr. Morrison

While thanking my hon. Friend for that satisfactory and helpful reply, may I ask whether he can say whether assistance to farmers would be retrospective if the Review showed it to be necessary in the light of hardships or difficulties over re-stocking?

Mr. Stodart

I am glad to be able to assure herd owners in the initial areas that if improvements are made in the terms for heavily infected herds as a result of next year's review, they will be applied retrospectively to all such herd owners taking part in the area eradication scheme. I hope that this assurance will remove any doubts those herd owners may have had about coming into the scheme.

25. Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the progress of his efforts to eradicate brucellosis.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Since we introduced the increased incentives last April voluntary accreditation has made excellent progress with nearly 47,000 herds now taking part in the schemes. On 1st November we made a start on our area eradication programme which will be progressively extended as more herds come into the voluntary scheme.

Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop

if present progress is maintained, when should the existing eradication scheme be completed?

Mr. Stodart

That would be a rather dangerous prophecy to make. But, being an optimist, I certainly hope that we shall stamp out brucellosis within 10 or 15 years.

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