§ Lord Beloff
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are planning to increase the compensation paid when flocks infected with salmonella are compulsorily slaughtered.
§ Baroness Trumpington
As indicated to the House of Commons Agriculture Committee during its recent further enquiry on salmonella in eggs, we have been reviewing the compensation paid when flocks infected with salmonella are compulsorily slaughtered. We are now introducing new scales of values for calculating compensation which reflect increases in commercial prices since the scales were first drawn up. The scales will also be kept under regular review in future. If a producer disagrees with the Ministry's valuation he will continue to have the right to take the matter to arbitration.
We are also amending the orders on the registration and testing of poultry flocks for salmonella, to remove the provisions which require the registers to be open to public inspection. We are taking this step as we accept that the ready availability of the registers could jeopardise the security of poultry premises.
In our programme of measures to control salmonella, protection of public health continues to be our first priority but, as these changes indicate, we are also alive to concerns expressed by the industry about certain aspects of our controls. We are also continuing to press hard for measures on salmonella to be introduced throughout the Community.