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 Of these, 700 have been withdrawn: 6,400 preliminary visits have been made and 4,550 herds are in varying stages of their qualifying tests; and eight herds are now on the Register.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.
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?
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.