HL Deb 19 January 1971 vol 314 cc480-2WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they can state the approximate date on which they propose to introduce legislation:—

  1. (a) making bovine brucellosis a notifiable disease;
  2. (b) compelling the slaughter of all animals in which the disease is confirmed;
  3. (c) making it a legal offence to offer for sale, any animals known or suspected to be infected, with severe penalties for breaches of this provision, and
  4. (d) providing full compensation, taking pedigree values into consideration, for all infected, animals compulsorily or voluntarily slaughtered.


Government policy for bovine brucellosis consists of encouraging voluntary accreditation of clean or relatively clean herds under the national Incentives Scheme, and of dealing with the remainder by compulsory eradication conducted systematically and on an area by area basis. The first eradication areas will be announced in the spring and operations will start in the autumn.

In the meantime, discussions are proceeding with interests concerned about the precise form of the statutory Orders needed for the Area Eradication programme. These Orders will be laid under the powers already available in the Diseases of Animals Act 1950 and the Agriculture Act 1970. Their scope will include provisions for compulsory slaughter, and for the forms of payment already announced for compulsory eradication, i.e. certain incentive premiums for clean animals, a flat-rate replacement grant for slaughtered reactors, and market value for any healthy animal which has to be slaughtered as a "contact". It is a condition of the present voluntary Scheme that owners should notify any abortions which occur in their herds, and the extension of this arrangement to eradication areas is among the matters now under discussion. There are already statutory restrictions on the sale of known reactors, other than for 'slaughter, and on animals that have recently aborted, and no further main or subordinate legislation is envisaged.

House adjourned at fourteen minutes past eleven o'clock.