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Warble Fly

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the damage to the production of milk, beef and hides by the warble fly; and if he will now consider making an order under the Diseases of Animals Acts for compulsory dressing of all cattle, whereby the numbers of warble flies might be substantially reduced.

I am aware of the damage caused by the warble fly, but, as the dressing of cattle before March to destroy warbles would not be effective, the question of making an order does not arise at the moment.

In view of the fact that sheep are now only to be dipped once a year, would not the police have time to see that such an order was properly carried out?

I understand that all warble flies that emerge between mid-March and the end of June are likely to give rise to another generation. That is why I feel that, at this moment, at all events, there is no point in making such an order.

Would it not be advisable to avoid compulsion, in the absence of adequate farm labour necessary for the application of the derris wash at the appropriate time; and is not my right hon. Friend aware that he might overcome this problem by prevailing upon the Minister of Food to pay different prices for designated hides according to the condition in which they arrive at his depots?

I think that that question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Food.

In view of the importance of this matter, and the great loss to the leather industry in this country, particulars of which are readily available from the Leather Merchants' Association, will the right hon. Gentleman look into this question again, because the trouble in the compulsory dressing of cattle is no more than in the compulsory dipping of sheep?

As I have already explained, treatment at this moment would be ineffective. It is only between mid-March and the end of June that treatment would be effective.