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Myxomatosis (Committee's Report)

Volume 526: debated on Friday 9 April 1954

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asked the Minister of Agriculture if he has now received a report from the Advisory Committee on Myxomatosis under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will make a further statement about the rabbit disease myxomatosis, in the light of the report of the Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Carrington.

Yes. The Committee reported on 16th March and the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have accepted their recommendations. Copies of the Report are available in the Vote Office. The Committee advise that the spread of myxomatosis cannot be checked, and that no attempt should be made to assist its spread or to introduce it into unaffected areas of the country. They conclude, therefore, that it should be allowed to run its natural course among wild rabbits, but that every effort should be made to kill rabbits that survive outbreaks of the disease.A vaccine for the protection of domestic rabbits will soon be in commercial production and rabbit keepers will be advised of this and other means of protecting their stock against infection.I would thank Lord Carrington and his colleagues for their valuable and timely Report. The Committee will continue in being and will keep a close watch on developments.