HC Deb 20 December 1967 vol 756 cc436-8W
Mr. Temple

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the fact that the killing power of his Department's approved disinfectants is instantaneous on bacteria, whether he will make a statement on the evidence in his possession as to the killing power of the approved disinfectants on the strain 0.1 virus under farm conditions.

Mr. Peart:

Since it would not be practicable to experiment with foot-and-mouth disease virus on farms, I have no direct evidence of the kind mentioned in the question. Experiments carried out at Pirbright show the relative effectiveness of disinfectants in laboratory conditions. This depends both on the disinfectant, and on the length of time the virus is exposed to it.

The disinfectant which is used by my officers on premises which are known to have been contaminated by virus is 4 per cent. sodium carbonate solution. Other general purpose disinfectants are used whore it is considered that sodium carbonate might cause damage to certain materials.

Mr. Ellis

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what evidence he has that the spread of foot-and-mouth virus has been windborne; and if ha will make a statement;

(2) what studies he has asked the Meteorological Office to make during the present foot-and-mouth epidemic on the possibility of the spreading of the disease being due to climatological factors; and what action he has taken as a result of these studies.

Mr. Peart:

A team of scientific experts are at the moment studying the present epidemic and the points mentioned by my hon. Friend are being included in their survey. The Meteorological Office has given us every assistance in this study. But it is too early to make any definite statement.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in view of the fact that the foot-and-mouth epidemic has exceeded in extent and duration anything envisaged in the Gowers Report and has resulted in a large gap between the market value of an animal at the time of slaughter and the same animal's replacement value at the end of the epidemic, whether he will now direct that compensation for slaughter should be at the replacement value.

Mr. Peart:

Under present legislation, compensation can be paid only on the basis of valuation at the time of slaughter, but I am enquiring into the extent of the increase in valuations during the present epidemic and will discuss the matter with the National Farmers' Union.