§ LORD BESWICK
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will make a statement on the outbreak of swine vesicular disease.
On Friday, December 15, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was advised by the Animal Virus Research Institute at Pirbright that the virus which was responsible for the first three outbreaks in Staffordshire was not a foot-and-mouth disease virus but was one similar to those which the Institute isolated and studied following outbreaks in Italy in 1966 and Hong Kong in 1971. Whilst pigs which940WA are affected develop all the signs and symptoms indistinguishable from foot-and-mouth disease, the virus itself has not affected other cloven-footed animals. As the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food announced on Friday the disease had been named swine vesicular disease. An Order was made on Friday extending to swine vesicular disease all the restrictions and controls which are applied in dealing with foot-and-mouth disease, but in present circumstances slaughter is being confined to pigs.
The total number of outbreaks confirmed is eight and the infected area was extended southwards in Warwickshire and Worcestershire on Friday. The first three outbreaks were directly linked with the original one, and four of the five subsequent outbreaks appear to be linked with one another through the movement of either swill or pigs.
House adjourned at sixteen minutes before nine o'clock.