HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 c692W
Mr. Baker

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out his policy in respect of the vaccination of rare breeds during the present foot and mouth outbreak. [159591]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 30 April 2001]: The chief scientific adviser's foot and mouth disease science group said last month that it did not recommend a vaccination programme for rare breeds. In the light of this, the Government have not sought EC approval to vaccinate rare breeds. Following consultations, my right hon. Friend announced measures to protect rare breeds of sheep in his statements to the House on 26 April and these were covered in the joint instruction on slaughter policy on contiguous premises issued by the Ministry on 27 April.

Mr. Duncan

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what his estimate is of the number of dairy herds unable to be inseminated for the purposes of continuing milk production. [156914]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 5 April 2001]: We are aware that the current ban on artificial insemination (AI) by technicians in infected areas will pose problems for some farmers, although we are not in a position to quantify the extent. On 29 April there were around 8,000 dairy holdings (as classified in the June 2000 agricultural census) in the infected areas in England. Not all of these will use AI; some will own a bull. Of those that do use AI, some will use the DIY method (where licensed movement of semen is permitted, subject to certain conditions) and others AI companies. We have already taken some action to alleviate the problems faced by farmers and we are actively considering other ways in which we can provide assistance in this area.

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