§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the current evidence suggesting a link between the human Coxsackie B5 virus and the swine vesicular disease virus; and what are the implied consequences of any such link for the policy of animal slaughter.
§ Mr. Strang
These two viruses are known to be very similar, and it is a scientific hypothesis that Coxsackie B5 virus, which is prevalent in man throughout the world, may at some stage have adapted itself to a pig host and evolved into the specific pig virus which causes swine vesicular disease. Such a hypothesis has no implications or consequences for the Ministry's policy for dealing with swine vesicular disease as there is no evidence of Coxsackie B5 virus causing disease in pigs.