Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th July 1964.

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Mr. B. Harrison:

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have occurred in Great Britain since 1952; and how much the disease has cost the country in compensation over this period.

Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford

Between January, 1952 and June, 1962, there were 1,469 outbreaks. Compensation paid to owners whose animals had to be slaughtered under the eradication policy totalled about £8¼ million. I am happy to say that since June, 1962, there has been no outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. This is the longest period of freedom from this disease since 1918.

Mr. Harrison:

Can my right hon. Friend give any indication of what we owe this very satisfactory state of affairs to?

Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford

First, to the continuation of our slaughter policy at home and to improvements in the control of imports of offal, particularly pig meat offal, from the Argentine, and better arrangements within the Argentine itself. Secondly, to the fact that many neighbouring European countries have been going over to the slaughter policy, and this has had a very considerable effect here at home.

Photo of Captain James Duncan Captain James Duncan , South Angus

Do I see my right hon. Friend touching wood?

Photo of Mr Christopher Soames Mr Christopher Soames , Bedford

Yes, my hon. Friend does.