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Volume 527: debated on Thursday 13 May 1954

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asked the Minister of Agriculture how far north the rabbit disease of myxomatosis has spread up to date.

The most northerly outbreaks reported so far are on the Suffolk-Norfolk border, near Southwold and Mendham.

In addition to the answer to the question which I have given, I think that the House might like to know that there has been a notable spread, during the last three weeks or so, in East and South-East England. Isolated outbreaks have been confirmed in the Isle of Wight and during the last few days in Gloucestershire, Radnorshire and Cornwall.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it was reported in the Press recently that some Cumberland butchers took rabbits from an infected area which were taken back to Cumberland? Can he say whether there has been any myxomatosis in Cumberland since then?

Not so far as has been reported to me. So far as I can ascertain, there is no justification for these rumours.