§ 7. Mr. Kitson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he expects the brucellosis eradication scheme to be introduced; if he will set out a timetable of the programme; and when he expects it to be completed.
I expect to be able to invite applicants to join the scheme in something like two months. It is not possible at present to give a timetable for the whole scheme, or a date by which eradication of the disease will have been completed.
§ Mr. Kitson
When does the Minister expect to introduce the compulsory slaughter side of the eradication scheme? 594 Will he bear in mind that it is necessary to be extremely quick with the scheme?
§ Sir A. V. Harvey
Will the Minister now admit that the disease is far more widespread than he was prepared to admit last mid-summer, is now adversely affecting British exports, is very widespread among the veterinary service, and is doing untold harm to British farming?
§ Dr. John Dunwoody
Would my right hon. Friend not agree that there is also a considerable health hazard to farmers, farmworkers and their families, and that that is yet another reason for urgent action now?
§ Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine
Will the Minister examine the matter with even more urgency, because the figures in one report indicate that at least one herd in seven is affected? The right hon Gentleman has probably seen that the herd run by the Farmers' Weekly has already shown 12 animals in one small herd to be affected.