§ Viscount THURSO
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Upon what conditions the import of Coho salmon eggs to Scotland was permitted; what further conditions have been imposed upon the manner in which they are to be reared; and what was the advice given to Her Majesty's Government by the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory at Faskally about the disease and other dangers involved in such an import.
§ The MINISTER of STATE, SCOTTISH OFFICE (Lord Kirkhill)
An importer has been allowed to bring in a small quantity of Coho salmon eggs on a provisional basis and subject to stringent health certification, disinfection and quarantine conditions, pending a final decision on disease grounds. This was agreed to only after consultation with the Government's scientific advisers on fish disease and my right honourable friend is fully satisfied as to the efficiency of the quarantine and other conditions to be met. If the final decision is against confirming the permission the whole importation and its progeny will be destroyed.
Under the quarantine imposed, the eggs and fish hatched from them are isolated from any other fish or fish tanks, and all out-flow from the quarantine unit is being fully sterilised to ensure that no live fish and no disease organisms which might be present could escape to the outside environment. The quarantine conditions apply to the fish hatched from the eggs, and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland has access to them at all times to test for the possible presence of disease and to ensure that the quarantine conditions are being properly observed.
Before reaching a final decision, on disease grounds, to permit these Coho salmon to enter Great Britain my right honourable friend will take into account the advice given him by his scientific advisers on fish disease and by those of his right honourable friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. He will also consider carefully all representations made to him on similar grounds by the various interests concerned.