§ 2.38 p.m.
§ LORD DOUGLAS OF BARLOCH
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is any restriction upon the sale of broiler chickens which have been injected with a preparation of cortisone.]
No, my Lords, cortisone is not used in the rearing of broiler chickens for market. The noble Lord may be referring to the experimental use of cortisone in studying a condition known as "breast blisters" in chickens, an account of which was given in Nature on March 31, 1962. 359 This was purely research work; cortisone is not available to the commercial poultry farmer, except under veterinary prescription, and its cost would rule out its use for therapeutic purposes in broiler production.
My Lords, can my noble friend tell me what regulations exist to prevent various deleterious chemical substances from being fed to broiler chickens and other animals which are kept in an unnatural state in order to force their growth artificially?
My Lords, the Question was one about the use of a preparation of cortisone. I could not "off the cuff" give a complete answer to this supplementary question. The control of cortisone is exercised under the Therapeutic Substances Act, and. subject to certain exceptions, its distribution and administration for treatment are permitted only by or under the direction of a duly qualified medical practitioner, a registered dental practitioner, or a registered veterinary surgeon or practitioner.