asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has completed his consultations with the farming organisations and the veterinary profession on the arrangements to be made for the systematic eradication of bovine tuberculosis and the establishment of clean areas; and when he will put such a scheme into operation.
No, Sir. While discussions with the interests concerned show that there are no wide differences of view as to the main principles on which an area eradication plan should be based, a few difficult questions remain as regards the financial provision of such a plan. I hope, however, that these may be resolved in the near future. Meanwhile, substantial progress continues to be made under the voluntary Tuberculosis (Attested Herds) Scheme, which now includes nearly a million and a half cattle.
Is the Minister remembering that these consultations have gone on for very many months; and does he not agree that to get an effective scheme for irradicating bovine tuberculosis we must have co-ordination which can only be done through his Department?
I fully appreciate that, and I hope the hon. Member will not forget the evidence side of determining an eradication area.