asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the great loss of livestock in this country due to foot-and-mouth disease and swine fever, which are often caused by swill being fed raw or insufficiently cooked; and will he give further publicity to the imperative necessity of all swill being properly sterilised, both to farmers and to camps, and other places where swill is collected in large quantities?
I am well aware that several recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and swine fever are attributable to infection carried by swill. I have arranged, as far as possible, for every pig keeper to be supplied with a new leaflet, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend, setting out in clear and simple terms the dangers inherent in unboiled swill and the precautions that should be taken. The co-operation of all local authorities and Service units is being sought in the distribution of the leaflet to all purchasers of unboiled swill. At the same time I am collaborating with the Waste Food Board in arranging wherever practicable for the sterilisation of swill in central processing plants before distribution to stock keepers. A very large tonnage is already being dealt with in that way.