§ 21. Mr. Hurd
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many original outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have occurred in the past six months ; the number of animals involved and compensation payable; in how many cases the infection appears to be attributable to frozen or chilled meat; and what stricter measures are being taken to prevent infected carcases being shipped here from South America.
Fifteen primary outbreaks have been confirmed, involving the slaughter of 1,610 cattle, 2,302 sheep, 1,054 pigs and 2 goats with compensation amounting to £121,000. Total outbreaks, including both primary and secondary, amounted to 120, involving the slaughter of 7,775 cattle, 11,589 sheep, 3,336 pigs and 37 goats in all. Total compensation amount to £610,000. Infection is attributed directly or indirectly to frozen or chilled meat in twelve of these cases. Two of my veterinary officers permanently stationed in South America co-operate closely with the authorities there to reduce so far as possible the risk of carcases infected with foot-and-mouth disease being shipped to this country. These arrangements are constantly under review.
§ Captain Kerby
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what evidence he has to suggest that foot-and-mouth disease is being brought into Great 86W Britain in the marrow bone of imported carcase meat from the Argentine ; and what steps he proposes taking to control the sale of such infected bone.
In many of the primary outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in this country there is evidence that livestock have been in contact with raw meat or bones from South American carcases. It is known that the virus can survive for several months in chilled and frozen meat and in bone-marrow at cold-storage temperatures. My veterinary officers stationed in South America co-operate closely with the authorities there to reduce so far as possible the risk of infected carcases being sent to this country. Strict compliance with the requirements of the Boiling of Animal Foodstuffs Order would do much to prevent outbreaks of disease. I am considering further measures for the control of swill for feeding to animals.