Food Manufacturing (Foot and Mouth)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5 April 2001.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Minister of State (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) 12:00, 5 April 2001

The hon. Gentleman should not look for an inconsistency where none exists. It is perfectly true that if cattle are put out to graze on their own, without any other animals being present, their vulnerability is greatly reduced. However, the presence of sheep that might carry the infectivity poses an enormous danger to dairy animals. That is why, working very closely with the National Farmers Union, we are trying to keep the dairy animals housed for as long as we can so that the culling policy, especially relating to fat sheep in Cumbria, has a chance to take the fullest possible effect.