HC Deb 27 February 1975 vol 887 cc205-6W
Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the figures for mastitis levels in cattle in England and Wales in each of the last five years; if he is satisfied with the progress being made to eradicate this disease; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Strang

Mastitis is not a notifiable disease and there are no precise figures of its incidence. The national cell count figures collected by the Milk Marketing Board suggest that there was an average improvement in the level of mastitis in the national herd in 1972 but that this has not been maintained.

Because the causal organisms are numerous and are common in the environment, an eradication campaign is neither practicable nor appropriate.

The National Mastitis Awareness Campaign was launched in 1972 to emphasise to dairy farmers the losses in production which mastitis can cause and the measures which can be taken to control it. These measures—good stock management, dairy hygiene and other routines—can demonstrably reduce the incidence of mastitis in herds where they are consistently practised. I am disappointed that dairy farmers have not responded more energetically to this campaign.