Investigations at the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Station at pirbright are directed in the main to ascertaining the nature and properties of the virus of the disease, devising the most practical methods of protecting animals against infection, and improving tests for detecting the presence of the virus and determining the protective properties of vaccines and anti-sera. The staff engaged at the station comprises four research officers. 11 technical assistants, 15 animal attendants and 14 farm maintenance and clerical staff. The estimated cost of the work, including capital expenditure, in the present financial year is £61,000. Actual expenditure in the previous three years averaged £37,000.
I am not at all sure about the immunisation. I am sure, however, that we are spending almost double the amount of money this year for this purpose than was the average expenditure during the past three years.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is satisfied that the policy of slaughtering is the best method of combating foot-and-mouth disease, in view of the failure of this policy to arrest the present outbreak in Dorsetshire and Somersetshire; and whether he will state the value of the cattle, pigs and sheep so far slaughtered there.
Yes, Sir. I am satisfied that the slaughter policy to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease is by far the best, and that no other known method would have been so successful in preventing the spread of the disease. The value of the animals so far slaughtered in Dorset and Somerset is about £140,000.