HC Deb 14 May 1953 vol 515 cc89-90W
Mr. Cooper-Key

asked the Minister of Food what advice has been given by his veterinary experts as to the danger to the public from the consumption of milk from a cow infected by brucella abortus; and what steps he is taking to prevent animals so infected from being sold as milking cows in the open market.

Major Lloyd George

I am advised that if milk is infected with the organism ofbrucella abortus there is a risk of the consumer contracting undulant fever, but that an infected cow will not ordinarily give milk containing this organism in large numbers except for a short period after calving. It is an offence under the Food and Drugs Acts to sell for human consumption the milk of any cow which is known to be suffering from an infection of the udder or teats likely to convey disease, and medical officers of health are authorised under the Milk and Dairies Regulations to stop the sale or require the heat treatment of milk if they have evidence satisfying them that it is infected with a disease communicable to man. I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture that the Epizootic Abortion Order of 1922 prohibits the exposure in a market of a cow which has calved prematurely within the preceding two months.