§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many cows in Cheshire herds recently tested proved bovine immunodeficiency virus positive; what effects have been observed in the cows; what precautions have been taken to protect consumers; whether their milk is still being sold; whether the infected cows are to be destroyed; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Soames
Limited serological evidence of bovine immunodefiency virus has recently been found in one herd in Cheshire where two animals gave positive results to two or more of three different serological tests for BIV. Investigations into the herd continue. We understand that, at present, the milk from this herd is not being taken by the Milk Marketing Board. I refer the hon. Member to my answers to the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West (Mr. Jones), on 18 February,Official Report, columns 1057–58, and the hon. Member for North Cornwall (Mr. Tyler), on 10 February, Official Report, column 430. One animal is being purchased for detailed investigation but we have no plans for compulsory slaughter of the cattle.