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Fowl Pest

Volume 437: debated on Monday 12 May 1947

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50.

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many cases of fowl pest have been notified; how many birds have been slaughtered during the past week; and what are the results of the discussions between officers of his Department and of the Ministry of Food as to the possibilities of lessening the risk of spreading this disease through the importation of dead poultry.

The number of outbreaks of fowl pest confirmed up to 8th May is 166. During the past week about 1,500 domestic fowls, 180 ducks and 20 geese have been slaughtered because of fowl pest. As to the last part of the Question, arrangements are being made for trial shipments of eviscerated poultry to be brought from central Europe. Pending the results of these trial shipments, none but eviscerated poultry will be imported from any country in Europe where fowl pest is prevalent.

In view of the fact that these figures are still going up, will the right hon. Gentleman try to arrange with the Press and the B.B.C. that full publicity is given to fresh outbreaks, so that the country may be aware of the situation?

I can assure the noble Lord that we are using both the Press and the B.B.C. to notify both commercial and domestic poultry keepers of the danger of this fowl pest.

Could this not be treated as foot-and-mouth disease is treated, so that far greater publicity is given as regards outbreaks in various parts of the country?

I can only repeat that we have invited the B.B.C. to give us all the assistance they can, and they have very readily agreed to do it.