HC Deb 04 November 1986 vol 103 cc416-7W
Mr. Colvin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement on the outbreaks of swine fever during 1986, including details of the number of cases identified, the number of pigs slaughtered and the reasons why Her Majesty's Government did not impose a ban on imports during the period of the outbreak.

Mr. Donald Thompson

Ten outbreaks of classical swine fever were confirmed between 10 April and 25 June this year. 7,820 pigs were slaughtered. The action taken by the Government ensured that the outbreaks were quickly stamped out.

There were two reasons why the European Community provisions for restricting imports could not be invoked on this occasion. The disease situation in the countries from which we import pigmeat products was not worsening. Also, though there was strong circumstantial evidence to link the outbreaks with feeding of waste scraps from imported pigmeat products, there is no proof that these came from any particular country. A ban on imports would therefore have been legally unsound.