§ MR. C. S. PARKER
said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Council, Whether he can inform the House what steps the Government intend to take in the exercise of the powers entrusted to the Privy Council by the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Bill for the slaughter of fat cattle coming from in-footed countries at the ports of entry?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, in reply, that if the Bill to which he had just alluded became law, foreign animals coming from an infected country would be required, as now, to be killed at the port of entry. On Tuesday, or as soon as possible after the passing of the Act, a Council would be held to determine what countries were to be considered infected; and it would not be becoming in him to anticipate the Order to be issued; but they were exceedingly anxious to frame the Order in a way that should be satisfactory. If they were to lean on either side, they must lean on the side of care and caution to prevent the introduction of diseases. He would take that opportunity of correcting a mistake he had unfortunately made in reply to a Question of the hon. Member for West Essex (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson), in which he had said that foot and mouth disease was prevalent in Ireland as well as England. He found that this was a mistake into which he had fallen from having been led to suppose that in- 1493 formation respecting pleuro-pneumonia, which he regretted to be compelled to believe existed in Ireland, applied to foot and mouth disease. With regard to foot and mouth disease, he wished to state the course the Government intended to take to meet present circumstances. With regard to cattle coming in from suspected countries, they would, whether affected with foot and mouth disease or not, be killed at the port of entry, after the issue of the Order in Council he alluded to, as at present; but with regard to cattle coming in from countries not suspected, directions would be given to the Customs' officers for the present to take care that should there be in a cargo of such cattle any cattle affected with foot and mouth disease, not only those animals should be slaughtered, but the cattle which had come with them should be put under the same conditions of slaughter as if they had come from suspected countries.