HC Deb 01 March 1984 vol 55 cc384-5
16. Mr. Colin Shepherd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the Government's policy for 1984 as far as sheep scab is concerned.

Mrs. Fenner

The Government's policy is to take all practicable measures to control and eradicate the disease. The support of the industry and local authorities is essential. Dipping requirements for 1984 will be announced shortly and it seems likely that strict measures will have to be followed for several years.

Mr. Shepherd

I thank my hon. Friend for her robust and construtive reply. Does she appreciate that there is great concern among sheep producers about the spread of scab? Will she ensure that enforcement is 100 per cent. and that adequate publicity is given to the fact that sheep scab is a malicious and evil killer disease?

Mrs. Fenner

I give my hon. Friend that assurance. We shall certainly ensure adequate publicity. As I have emphasised, however, we must have absolute support from the industry and local authorities in the attempt to eradicate the disease.

Mr. Mark Hughes

May I assure the Minister that she has the total and absolute support of Labour Members for the strictest possible regime to ensure effective dipping and the eradication of this very dangerous disease?

Mrs. Fenner

I am obliged to the hon. Gentleman. This disease must be eradicated. We have recently had the worst series of outbreaks for the past 11 years.