Brucellosis (Accredited Herds) Scheme

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1967.

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Photo of Sir Timothy Kitson Sir Timothy Kitson , Richmond (Yorks) 12:00 am, 29th November 1967

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the progress so far made on the brucellosis eradication scheme.

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

Up to 20th November we received 7,850 applications for member- ship of the Brucellosis (Accredited Herds) Scheme. Of these, 700 have been withdrawn: 6,400 preliminary visits have been made and 4,550 herds are in varying stages of their qualifying tests; and eight herds are now on the Register. I regret that while the epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease continues we cannot deal with new applications, and there will be delays in routine testing.

Photo of Sir Timothy Kitson Sir Timothy Kitson , Richmond (Yorks)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many farmers are very worried about the present scheme, in that infected cattle are being put into cattle markets, purchased and sent into brucella-free herds? When does he intend to start his eradication policy?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

This happened before, in T.T. days. I am anxious that we should get ahead with this. I pressed for it and made an announcement. I am having co-operation, but it is too early to give a full estimate of how the scheme is going. Applications representing just under 4 per cent. of the total number of herds have been received.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

Is the Minister aware that if only eight herds are free from brucellosis it is disgraceful at this stage? When will he tackle this problem vigorously, in the interests of the health of the British people? When will he do something about it?

Photo of Mr Thomas Peart Mr Thomas Peart , Workington

I do not think that, in the circumstances, progress is slow. I have made a start, which is more than my predecessors did.