§ Major the Marquess of TITCHFIELD
asked the Minister of Agriculture why the embargo on Irish cattle has been removed; and whether, owing to the increase of foot-and-mouth disease in the Midland counties, the embargo will again be enforced?
§ Mr. BUXTON
The embargo on Irish cattle was removed because, as a result of inquiries into the origin of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at Nottingham, the Ministry was satisfied that infection was picked up at Nottingham Station, and did not originate in Ireland. With regard to the last part of the question, I may explain that, although the trade in Irish cattle has now been resumed, the normal restrictions on the movement of such cattle apply. On landing, Irish cattle are required to be detained at least 10 hours at the landing place, and are subjected to a veterinary examination by inspectors of the Ministry, and they are then licensed either direct to a slaughter house, or to farm premises where they are required to be detained for 28 days. None can be distributed direct from the ports through a market. I am advised that there is no ground for re-introducing the embargo on Irish cattle.
§ Sir C. MORRISON-BELL
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has considered the possibility or desirability of discussing organised international action for the suppression of foot-and-mouth disease; and whether he will make a statement on the subject?
§ Mr. BUXTON
Yes, Sir; the Ministry has carefully considered the possibility of organising international action against foot-and-mouth disease. Great Britain is a member of an International Bureau which sits in Paris under the patronage 1015W of the French Government for dealing with animal diseases in general, and at the initial meeting the Ministry's chief veterinary officer raised the point in question. The idea was sympathetically received, but it was felt that it would be impracticable to attempt eradication while the disease was widespread on the Continent; it might be considered when it has died down to manageable proportions. I may add that the terms of reference to the recently appointed Research Committee empowers it to collaborate with research organisations in other countries.