§ Dr. Michael Clark
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has reached decisions on future action against pea bacterial blight; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jopling
My Department has taken firm steps to combat pea bacterial blight since infection was found in the fodder pea crop in the summer of 1985.
Our longer-term aim has been to minimise infection by bringing pea bacterial blight within the seed certification scheme. A review carried out in the light of the results of crop inspections and laboratory tests on fodder pea seed last year has confirmed this as the right course. We therefore propose to amend the seed certification scheme so that, from 1 July 1987, home-produced seed submitted at breeders, pre-basic, basic and C1 levels will be certified only if tests have shown the stock to be free from pea bacterial blight. At the same time, we shall extend the existing controls on imported fodder pea seed to the C1 category.
Pea bacterial blight will, at least for the present, continue to be a notifiable disease. This will enable the incidence of the disease to be monitored.