To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what guidelines he has laid down for ostrich farms on spongiform encephalopathy in ostriches.
Following recent reports in the German scientific press of a spongiform encephalopathy-like disease in three ostriches which died in Germany in 1986, 1988 and 1989, guidance was issued to known keepers of ostriches in this country. The guidance provided information on these reports and asked that owners' veterinary surgeons be given copies so that they could monitor the birds for neurological symptoms. Procedures in cases of suspicion were recommended, which included in particular informing the Ministry. No reports have been received as a result.