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Imported Poultry (Fowl Pest)

Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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60.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the increasing number of cases of fowl pest in the United Kingdom and the seriousness of the disease, he has now decided to stop the import of poultry from countries where fowl pest is known to be, with a view to the early eradication of the disease in the United Kingdom.

The importation of live poultry and hatching eggs from countries where fowl pest is known to exist is not now being permitted. The question of further measures is under consideration.

in view of the fact that 90 cases of this disease have now been notified, that it is a very infectious disease and will have a very great effect on the poultry stock in this country, will the right hon. Gentleman also consider restricting the import of undressed carcasses from those countries where it is known to exist, as veterinary surgeons think it is due to the feeding of offal to the poultry in this country?

I understand a prohibition on the importation of dead poultry would mean stopping the bulk of our supplies, and that would hardly be practicable with the present shortage. However, I can assure the hon. Member that we are at present in consultation with the poultry industry.

In view of the fact that the imports will or must continue, will the right hon. Gentleman first see that some instructions are issued that this offal should be boiled before being fed to poultry; and in future, when imports of poultry have to be made, will he see that they will be dressed and not undressed poultry?

Advice to boil ail poultry waste before feeding to their birds has been "propaganded" amongst poultry keepers, and we are going further in that direction, after consultation with the poultry industry.

Would it not be better to stop the importation of table poultry from those countries where they have this disease, rather than having our own flocks decimated?