HC Deb 09 June 1871 vol 206 c1778

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether the Veterinary Department is prepared to relax in any way the restrictions on the circulation of cattle imported from Germany?


said, in reply, that the Government were not prepared to relax the present restrictions on the circulation of cattle imported from Germany. A very important deputation of butchers from the northern towns had waited upon him some time ago, and asked for permission to remove imported German cattle from the outports to inland towns—for instance, from Hull to Leeds or Manchester, under strict regulations for enforcing slaughter at the railway terminus so as to prevent the risk of spreading disease. The Government would have been glad to meet the views of that deputation; but, as he had informed them at the time, he much feared they would have been obliged to issue such precise and strict regulations as would have prevented the arrangement from being of much, or perhaps any, advantage to the trade. It was only fair, however, to acknowledge that both the corporations and the Railway Companies had shown a great willingness to carry out strict regulations. Independently of that difficulty, the Government had within the last few days received information which convinced them that this was not the time to make any alterations in regard to the importation of German cattle. They learnt from our Minister at Munich that cattle plague had appeared in Bavaria, near Munich, within the last few days; and although it was to be hoped that it would be suppressed by prompt measures, yet it was obvious that Germany had not yet recovered from the effects of the war, and that it would be inexpedient to make any relaxation in respect to German cattle. In the meantime, he was glad to believe that the late Order in reference to Dutch imported cattle had been of very considerable advantage both to the northern consumers and the farmers who were much in want of store cattle; and inquiry only increased his conviction that there was no danger of cattle plague from the Dutch imported cattle, and as little danger of pleuro-pneumonia as from the home traffic.