§ 2.41 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their attention has been drawn to the successful use in Australia of myxomatosis virus for reducing the rabbit population whether any experiments have been made with its use in this country; and, if so, with what result.]
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES (LORD CARRINGTON)
My Lords, we are in touch with the Australian workers who are using this virus for the control of wild rabbits. The disease is transmitted from one rabbit to another by bloodsucking insects, and mosquitoes are the principal means used in Australia. Although appreciable success; has been obtained in that country, the scientific workers hesitate to estimate the future potentialities of the disease. Small-scale experiments with the virus are being carried out by the North of Scotland College of Agriculture on small islands off the west of Scotland, but so far results have been inconclusive.
My Lords, could my noble friend tell me whether these rabbits which are about to perish of myxomatosis will be edible in this country, either in their frozen or in their tinned condition?