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Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department is carrying out into (a) the identification of salmonella species in poultry and (b) the vaccination of poultry against salmonella species ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : My Department is currently funding a number of research projects including the development of a quick and simple blood test to detect salmonella enteritidis in live birds and the investigation of factors determining intestinal colonisation by salmonella. This includes studies of oral and systemic immunisation of poultry against salmonella.
Column 324Research work on the development of a salmonella enteritidis vaccine is being carrid out under a commercial contract at the central veterinary laboratory of my Department.
Mr. Donald Thompson : As it is not feasible for the health status of individual eggs to be tested in a way which does not destroy them, claims that eggs offered for sale are free from salmonella may be open to legal challenge.