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Foot-And-Mouth Disease (Serum)

Volume 463: debated on Monday 4 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will consider making experiments in this country with the treatment of foot-and-mouth disease by a serum vaccination in view of the success achieved by the French Ministry of Agriculture.

Tests with serum have been carried out in this country and its value in controlling outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease is well understood. The use of the serum would not, however, be entirely effective in preventing outbreaks or the spread of the disease, and I am satisfied that the present eradication policy is the best and most economical in the circumstances of this country.

Can we have an assurance from the Minister that research will be made into this all-important matter, in view of the success that has attended this treatment in France?

Perhaps it would not be out of place if I were to tell the House that the success achieved by the French Ministry of Agriculture may be measured by the fact that during January, 1949—the last month for which we have figures—there were 1,773 outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in France; in this country, we have had 24 outbreaks in the last 15 months.

Is it not possible for farmers to get hold of this serum so that they can try it out voluntarily?