HC Deb 27 June 1872 vol 212 cc285-6

asked the Vice President of the Council, If there is any power under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, or under any existing Order in Council, to prevent the carcases of animals which have died of disease being thrown into the sea or into tidal rivers; and, if no such power exists, whether he will issue such an Order as will make such a practice a punishable offence; and, whether the local autho- rity of any district has the power to order the burial of any animal which has died of foot and mouth disease, or to prevent the carcases of such animals being thrown into inland rivers?


, in reply, said, that as to animals thrown into the sea arrangements had existed for the last seven years by which all carcases washed on shore were buried by the officers of the Board of Trade at the expense of the Veterinary Department. This expense in 1871 was about £147. As to issuing an Order for preventing the carcases of animals from being thrown into the sea, he doubted whether it would be of much advantage, because it was exceedingly difficult to prove who had thrown the animals overboard. He had no reason to believe that diseased animals were thrown overboard, though no doubt the carcases of animals which had died from suffocation or exhaustion were so disposed of. Whenever a vessel arrived an Inspector of the Veterinary Department made a return, showing the number of animals taken on board, the number alive, and the number dead. In the quarter ending March in this year 14 cattle and 564 sheep had been thrown overboard. The local authorities had no power to order the burial of any animal which had died of foot and mouth disease; but if cattle were proved to be unfit for food they might be dealt with under the provisions of the Nuisances' Removal Act. In considering the question of an Order with respect to throwing animals overboard at sea, they should also consider the question with regard to tidal and inland rivers.