HL Deb 05 February 1985 vol 459 c933
Baroness Elliot of Harwood

My Lords I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many outbreaks of sheep scab there have been in the United Kingdom since October 1984.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Belstead)

My Lords, from October 1984 to the end of January this year 12 outbreaks of sheep scab have been confirmed. This compares with a figure of 142 in the same period in 1983–84. While this appears to be encouraging, it is too early to draw any firm conclusions about progress towards control and eradication.

Baroness Elliot of Harwood

My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Minister for that Answer. I should like to congratulate him on the success of this scheme and I hope very much that he will not be led into taking up any other type of proposal, because I think that this one is highly successful and I hope that it will be continued.

Lord Belstead

My Lords, I am grateful to my noble friend for the kind welcome that she has given to the figures that I have announced—a welcome, of course, for what the industry has been doing as regards actually getting the dipping done. My noble friend spoke of the future. The dipping arrangements for this year will need to be decided after consultations, but it is important that my noble friend has given her view that the policy needs to be persisted with. I think that the likelihood is that we shall have two dipping periods this year with dates similar to those in 1984.

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