§ Mr. Spellar
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if she will make a statement regarding the reasons for insisting on vaccination of racing pigeons.
§ Mr. Soames
The Racing Pigeons (Vaccination) Order 1994 requires that an organiser of a pigeon show or race which takes part wholly or partly in Great Britain shall ensure that all racing pigeons entered for the show have been vaccinated with a suitable vaccine against paramyxovirus 1—PMV 1—in pigeons. This implements a specific requirement in Council directive 92/66/EEC on Community measures for the control of Newcastle disease which in turn, recognises the part that racing pigeons can play in spreading Newcastle disease to commercial poultry, either through direct contact or by passing the PMV virus to feral pigeons.