HC Deb 19 October 1966 vol 734 cc42-3W
Sir R. Russell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give an account of the work of the European Foot-and-Mouth Disease Commission; and what progress is being made in securing co-operation between countries where this disease is prevalent.

Mr. John Mackie

The European Foot-and-Mouth Disease Commission, set up in 1954, gives advice on control by mass vaccination and on eradication by slaughter where this is possible. Through its research group it has discussed and assisted the development of new techniques of producing more potent and safer vaccines.

The Commission has stimulated better control of the disease in a number of European countries and has encouraged the typing of virus so that the correct vaccines may be employed.

In recent years the Commission has played a leading part in stopping the advance into Europe of exotic types of foot-and-mouth disease against which the standard European vaccines give no protection. It has directed the work of technical staff provided by countries outside the danger areas to assist in mass vaccination of those areas and has encouraged the manufacture of vaccines in border countries.

This is an active body with 16 members and its meetings are attended also by non-member European countries. Its Executive Committee meets in various countries and both directly and through its staff it discusses with their veterinary authorities the most suitable methods of disease control.