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Tuesday, 15 March 1966

Dr FORBES (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Health) - So far as is known at present, the strain of Newcastle disease which is in Australia now has no visible effect on the ability of Che birds to grow or to produce eggs. It is true that the only means of diagnosis are laboratory tests such as the isolation of the virus or serological tests designed to indicate whether birds have been exposed to infection. It is also true that none of the characteristic symptoms of the disease has been observed in this outbreak. The virus has been recovered from only one bird in Queensland, but positive reactions to serological tests have been found in all States except South Australia, and surveys are continuing.

In answer to the final question asked by the honorable gentleman I say that, with the exception of New South Wales where serological tests disclosed widespread exposure to the disease, I am not aware that any State has lifted its ban on the import of poultry or poultry products into that State.

Of course, Queensland has never had such a ban. I also .joint out that the control of a poultry disease or of any animal disease within a State is a matter for the Government of that State. So the question of whether poultry or poultry products are allowed into a State is a matter for the State Government concerned. Finally, I believe that the Government of Victoria did impose a ban for 12 months. Whether that will be lifted within 12 months or extended is entirely a matter for that Government.

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