HC Deb 04 December 1967 vol 755 cc223-4W
84. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied that there is sufficent vaccine in this country to combine the present slaughter policy with a vaccination policy in certain areas in order to halt the spread of foot-and-mouth disease; and if a vaccine exists for the virus in the present outbreak.

Mr. Peart

By tomorrow I expect to have sufficient supplies of the right type of vaccine to deal with the main area of infection should that become necessary. Much of it is already in stock. But as I have already stated, it is my intention to eradicate the disease by slaughter.

Viscount Lambton

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1)

whether all animals killed in the present outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease have been slaughtered by the existing captive bolt pistol; whether, in every case, heavy cartridges have been used; and whether, after the use of the captive bolt pistol, the pilthy stick has been used on each animal;

(2) whether any animals have been killed by the use of rifles instead of the captive bolt pistol in the present outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease; and whether they have been fired by members of Her Majesty's armed forces.

Mr. Peart

I understand that nearly all animals in the present epidemic have been slaughtered with the existing captive bolt pistol. On a few occasions animals which had broken loose or proved intractable and out of range of the dart-drug gun, were despatched by army marksmen.

Heavy cartridges have been used wherever necessary.

Every effort has been made under the heavy pressure of the present emergency to ensure that animals are humanely destroyed, and pithing has been carried out except when the veterinary officer in charge has considered this to be unnecessary.

Mr. Elysian Morgan

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that the statutory powers possessed by his department enabling him to combat an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease are adequate; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peart

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Montgomery (Mr. Hooson) on 30th November.—[Vol. 755, c.159.]

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