HC Deb 15 February 1951 vol 484 cc83-4W
57. Mr. Coldrick

asked the Minister of Agriculture what evidence he has to show that the spread of fowl pest in this country is due to the importation of infected poultry.

Mr. T. Williams

Although it has not been possible to determine with certainty the source of the present outbreaks of the sub-acute form of fowl pest, there is a possible connection with swill from an American camp. There is also evidence both direct and indirect which points to a good number of the outbreaks of the acute Continental type over the past few years as having been connected with imported poultry. The following is the evidence for this:

  1. (i) When outbreaks of fowl pest occur, veterinary officers of the Ministry make inquiries about the source of infection. These inquiries have shown, in a considerable number of cases, a direct connection with imported poultry.
  2. (ii) The distribution of primary outbreaks of fowl pest has coincided to a marked extent, both in time and place, with the distribution of carcases from countries where fowl pest is prevalent.
  3. (iii) The virus of fowl pest has been recovered from the carcases of poultry imported from such countries.
  4. (iv) There have been periods when this country has been free or almost free from the disease and its subsequent reappearance can only be attributed to the introduction of fresh infection from abroad.

66. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will immediately stop the import of poultry from pest infected countries, and continue this ban until this pest has been substantially eradicated.

Mr. T. Williams

I have at present nothing to add to the statement by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary in the debate on the Adjournment on 9th February.

68. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many separate outbreaks of fowl pest occurred in Great Britain for the last week for which records are available; and how these figures compare with the previous week.

Mr. T. Williams

There were 59 outbreaks of fowl pest in Great Britain during the week ended 13th February, 1951, compared with 50 outbreaks during the previous week.