64. Mrs. Butler
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that the testing scheme for antibiotics in milk is now effective in preventing the distribution of contaminated milk; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Soames
The testing of milk for antibiotics by dairies in England and Wales has been extended and a further substantial extension is expected soon. Producers are being warned when their milk fails a dairy test and the Milk Marketing Board has announced its intention to pay producers a substantially reduced price for any consignment of milk found to contain antibiotic. It will introduce these arrangements for reducing the price as soon as it is satisfied that information about the periods for which milk from treated cows should be withheld can be made available to all veterinary surgeons and producers.
I expect these steps being taken by the dairy industry to make a substantial contribution towards a solution of the problem of antibiotics in milk.
In addition, a number of food and drugs authorities are testing milk for antibiotics aid I propose, in consultation with my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Health, to issue a circular of guidance on this to all authorities.