§ Sir T. Kitson
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the present situation at the National Stud
§ Dr. Summerskill
The National Stud is one of a large number of stud farms in the Newmarket area where there has been an outbreak of genital infection in horses In May 1977, on veterinary advice, the National Stud suspended all covering and was closed to visitors.
In view of the potentially serious implications of the infection for the thoroughbred breeding industry as a whole, the Horserace Betting Levy Board, which has responsibility for the National Stud, asked Professor Sir David Evans, Chairman of its Veterinary Advisory Committee, to co-ordinate the intensive research into this matter at the various specialist laboratories throughout the country.
As a result it was possible quickly to isolate the organism responsible—which is described as an unidentified Gram-negative coccobacillus—and to commence treatment of infected mares. Mares at the National Stud are now responding to treatment. It was subsequently found that the six stallions at the Stud had a similar organism, and on veterinary advice it was decided not to recommence covering for the remainder of the 1977 season, which ends on 15th July The 18W treatment of stallions has already commenced.
The Levy Board was conscious of the need to ensure that all relevant information was made available on the widest possible basis and arranged for this to be disseminated through recognised channels and published in the veterinary press. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has undertaken to keep Ministries overseas informed of all developments.