§ 2.35 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to prohibit the import of poultry from countries where fowl pest is endemic]
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES (THE EARL OF LISTOWEL)
My Lords, the importation of live poultry from countries where fowl pest is prevalent is already prohibited. The importation of poultry carcases from such countries is allowed in only a few cases where special control measures have been established, and the distribution of the carcases in this country is restricted to certain large urban areas. These special steps were taken, 76 both in this country and abroad, so as to minimise the risks of introducing fowl pest while allowing a valuable addition to our poultry supplies. The question of a further restriction on imports raises many important issues and is being carefully considered in the light of the present spread of fowl pest and of the meat situation.
My Lords, arising out of that reply, may I ask if any steps have been taken to control the import of poultry, either tinned or otherwise, to the American Air Force in this country? Because it is notable that the pest started in the Worlington and Mildenhall area where the swill from the Lakenheath Aerodrome is distributed.
§ THE EARL OF LISTOWEL
My Lords, we think there is no direct or conclusive evidence that the source of this disease has been in the American camp, but, in order to avoid any possible risk in the future, we have, with the consent of the American authorities, arranged for all waste foodstuffs from American camps to be sterilised before they can be used as feeding-stuffs for animals.
My Lords, if His Majesty's Government have made such an arrangement as regards American camps as the noble Earl has just outlined, might not some arrangement be made as regards the urban districts into which the poultry carcases can still be imported?