§ Lord Cledwyn of Penrhos
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in view of the threat posed to the pig industry by the recent increased number of outbreaks of Aujeszky's disease, they will introduce an eradication scheme; what consultation they have had with the industry about this matter; and whether the industry is prepared to fund the compensation costs in such a scheme.
The Government's policy on Aujeszky's disease continues to be that which was announced by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in June 1980. As he made clear, a national compulsory slaughter policy with compensation payable at public expense would not have been justified. Following that announcement and at the request of the NFU, a poll was conducted which revealed insufficient support for an eradication scheme financed by the industry. Recently there has been an increase in the incidence of the disease, particularly in Humberside, although a number of these outbreaks have a single origin and there is no evidence of an increase in the virulence of the disease. Officials have recently discussed the subject with the National Farmers' Union and the Government are keeping the issues arising under active review in the light of recent developments, and will continue to consult the industry.