HC Deb 11 November 1937 vol 328 cc1860-1W
Major Dower

asked the Minister of Agriculture when the last case of foot-and-mouth disease was reported in the County of Cumberland; how long after infection it takes before the disease manifests itself; and what investigations are being made into the cause, in view of the great loss sustained through this disease?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Cumberland occurred on 1st July, 1931. The period of incubation of the virus responsible varies from two to ten days. As regards the last part of the question, research work has been in progress during the past 13 years under the supervision of a scientific committee which was set up by one of my predecessors. A general review of the position of these investigations and the results so far obtained is contained in the Fifth Progress Report issued by the committee which was published by His Majesty's Stationery Office last May.

Major Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has considered inoculating cattle in this country with a special German serum against foot-and-mouth disease; and whether any such serum is obtainable?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I am aware that it has been claimed that an immune serum will protect susceptible animals against infection for a period not exceeding 14 days. A serum obtained from a German source has been experimentally used in this country, but in view of the results obtained both in the field and in the laboratory, it was decided not to persevere with the experiments. The Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Committee reported this year that "such serum as is at present available cannot be relied on to protect a bovine from infection when intimately exposed to a highly infective case of disease."

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