§ 22. Mr. Farr
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recommendations he has received from agricultural sources relating to the desirability of relaxing the provision contained in the Therapeutic Substances Act, in connection with the use of penicillin and its associates.
§ Mr. John Mackie
Neither my right hon. Friend nor my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, who is responsible for administering the Therapeutic Substances Act, can trace having received any such recommendations or representations since the matter was referred nearly two years ago to the Joint Committee of the Medical and Agricultural Research Councils on antibiotics in animal feedingstuffs.
§ Mr. Farr
Is the Minister aware that many farmers feel that the present practice of allowing only vets to apply certain simple remedies, such as penicillin, cause a number of avoidable losses and deaths simply because many farmers find it impossible to afford a daily visit for an injection of penicillin by the vet?
§ Mr. Mackie
Yes, Sir. I appreciate that farmers would often like to have control of something like this. But we have a Committee dealing with these matters which advises us, and the hon. Gentleman must agree that many drugs can be used excessively. There have been cases of that, and I think that it is far better to have the control that we have now through the veterinary profession than just to allow the drugs to be bought anywhere by farmers.