§ Mr. Bossom
asked the Minister of Agriculture (1) whether he is aware that a great proportion of the cases of anthrax that are now occurring can be traced to imported feedingstuffs which only have a certificate that they have been properly sterilised in their country of origin; and if he will see that some more reliable arrangement is introduced to avoid continuance of this serious trouble;
(2) if, in view of the fact that 73 outbreaks of anthrax were confirmed between 1st and 15th September, 96 from 68W 16th to 30th September, and 52 from 1st to 9th October, he will call for an official investigation at the earliest possible moment as to the cause of this, so that a remedy may be devised.
§ Sir T. Dugdale
The requirement about the sterilisation of imported bones and bone products in their country of origin is confined to imports from Europe. The certificates that accompany such imports are signed on behalf of the Government of the country of origin and I have no evidence that they are not reliable, or that imports received under these certificates have been a source of infection.
As I explained in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Mr. Hurd) on 30th October, my Department is already conducting special inquiries into the sources of infection of anthrax and the possibility of introducing further safeguards. I regret that I cannot at present add to that reply.