asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what percentage of primary outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease during the last three years infection has been attributed to imported meat; and in what percentage of these outbreaks has the infection been traced through bones.
Would my hon. Friend not agree, therefore, that there are some grounds for the plea that meat coming in from areas known to be infected—if not continuously, at any rate from time to time—should be imported without the bone?
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to what extent, when tests are made to classify the different types of foot-and-mouth disease virus found in imported meat, a record is kept of the country of origin; and what proportion of the recent samples carrying the South American type of virus came from each of the South American countries.
Tests such as my hon. Friend refers to are not made, and my right hon. Friend is advised that they would not serve any useful purpose, since all types of foot-and-mouth disease virus occur both in South America and in Europe.
The same type of virus is common in many cases, but, of course, that is not the only reason on which there is based the belief that a particular meat which has caused infection has come from South America.