HC Deb 11 November 1941 vol 374 cc2090-1W
Sir R. Gower

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many laboratories for the blood testing of poultry have been established under the auspices of his Department; how many such laboratories already existed under independent ownership; and what steps have been taken to ensure that the latter do not suffer by unfair competition from the former?

Mr. Hudson

Poultry blood tests are carried out at the Ministry's Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, and also at a branch laboratory established in 1939 at Lasswade, near Edinburgh for the purposes of the free laboratory services to approved breeders of poultry in Scotland under Section 24 of the Agriculture Act, 1937. So far as I am aware there are not more than five private laboratories which undertake blood tests of poultry. Apart from official tests for breeders eligible for free testing, a small amount of work for other poultry owners is carried out at the Weybridge laboratory on a fee-paying basis which involves no question of undercutting private enterprise.

Colonel Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that poultry food is only allowed to breeders of pedigree poultry or other special breeders, provided these breeders have the blood of their flocks tested by the laboratories of his department, or have their flocks examined clinically by the county poultry inspector; and whether arrangements can be made for this work to be undertaken equally by the independent laboratories which have been doing this type of work for many years?

Mr. Hudson

Accredited and other poultry flocks approved for the purposes of the arrangements for safeguarding sound pure-bred foundation breeding stocks from the reduction in the feeding stuffs ration made in April last are required to be blood-tested at my Department's Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, or at the branch laboratory at Lasswade, near Edinburgh. I regret that this work, which is carried out for official purposes free of charge, cannot be allocated to other laboratories.

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