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Motion for Adjournment: The Hon Dr Barry Elsby (12/13)

BE: Mr Speaker, Honourable members, I dont know if I can follow that but coming last  it is always a privilege coming last because you can keep your comments&.. (clears his throat)

JC: One more!

BE: Sorry Jan  coming nearly last. It is my intention always in this new Assembly to keep my comments within the Motion for Adjournment brief and comments I need to make about my portfolios and anything else within the body of the meeting. So my comments today will be brief.

The only thing I would like to pick up on that has been commented upon is from my Honourable Colleague on my right here  Phyl Rendell who brought up the question of Hydatid disease and we are going to have the joyous occasion of collecting pooh samples of all the dogs in the Islands, which is great sport.

I dont share her hope, though that we will find that we eradicated this disease. Even if all the teats come back as negative, that just means that the dosing is working. Cast your minds back to last year when we had previous dog samples taken and we had quite a number of dogs and some of those were town dogs who were found to be positive. In other words, they had ingested Hydatid Disease from a sheep or something. Hydatid is a public health issue and we combated it years ago and the older members of society will know far better than I by keeping the dogs penned, by keeping them caged, they couldnt get to people unless they were working to make sure that no dead sheep lay within two miles from a habitation. Again, stop dogs eating infected animals and also to dose the dogs  and those processes brought the disease under control but I dont think it is eradicated. The fact that just last year dogs were positive, means that there is still Hydatid in the community; and almost certainly within the sheep. And I had a number of chats within the Veterinary Department to try to get them to explain to me the positive findings and the response I often get is there had been no Hydatid cysts seen within the sheep in the Abattoir so thats very well but they are just big cysts. And big cysts start from little cysts. What I think we need to do is have a joined up approach here and actually do some testing on the sheep looking for microscopic cysts and there are ways of determining whether sheep carry Hydatid without actually having to look for cysts because if the dogs were positive last year  last year there was Hydatid laying around somewhere for those dogs to get at.

It is a public health issue and I was wondering if my Honourable Colleague would consider involving the Chief medical officer as well in this issue because it is a motive and I think if dogs come back next year as being negative it will be a temptation to say we need to relax our vigilance and perhaps relax the dosing. I dont think we can do that and I would like the public to bare that in mind that a negative test next year does not mean that we have eradicated all the Hydatid disease.

That came up from the debate today but really the only thing I wanted to say in my adjournment debate was really to comment on the death of Nelson Mandela. As we all know Nelson Mandela died quite recently and the Falkland islands Government have sent condolences for his family and their Government. But I am sure the House and indeed the whole community would join with me at feeling sorrow at his passing but also as is happening in his homeland in South Africa Joy at the fact that he lived and how he lived. The fact that when he was released after so many years in prison that he had the ability not to take revenge on the people who had put him there and the people who have subjugated his people avoided a blood bath. And I think that elevates him in my eyes to one of the greatest leaders the world has seen.

Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.

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