HC Deb 17 March 1971 vol 813 cc355-6W
Mr. Hall-Davis

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now announce the starting date, initial areas, and financial terms for area eradication of brucellosis.

Mr. Prior

On 1st November my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I intend to start eradication in three main Areas of Great Britain. The first is in North-West England between the Esk and the Lune; the second, on the western Scottish seaboard, is Argyll and Bute; and the third, in South-West Wales, is a coast-to-coast corridor of Cardigan and Carmarthen east of the Teifi and Tywi estuaries. Eradication will also start in certain Islands, including the Shetlands, the Uists, and the Isle of Wight.

Further details are contained in Orders being made which prohibit the use of 45/20 vaccine, except under licence, in these Areas and in adjoining zones within which the eradication programme is expected to extend during 1972–73. My right hon. Friend and I will select the next main Areas as soon as practicable in the light of the industry's response to voluntary accreditation, especially in the North and West of Scotland, and in South-East England, Devon and East Anglia.

Clean animals in herds subject to compulsory eradication will be eligible for incentives, at the higher rates announced in Cmnd. 4623, from their first test until one year after accreditation; and advance payments will be available for herds having significant infection. For each slaughtered reactor, and in addition to the carcase realisation price, the owner will receive £30 provided he has continuously been utilising the Free Calf Vaccination Service for the herd since 1st July, 1971 or has been taking equivalent precautions; otherwise payment for reactors will be £15. Market value will be paid for any slaughtered "contacts" and for reactors in herds not eligible for incentives.

My right hon. Friend and I share the Industry's concern that owners should normally have at least 18 months' notice before compulsory slaughter powers are enforced. These powers will not therefore be used in the Initial Areas until 1st November, 1972, although, in the meantime, owners concerned will be able either to join the voluntary Incentives Schemes or to take advantage of the eradication payments on a voluntary contractual basis. We are regarding the first year in the Initial Areas as an opportunity to study the disease control and financial aspects of eradication among heavily infected herds, and the position of such herds will be reviewed in mid-1972 in the light of experience gained.