HC Deb 11 March 1878 vol 238 c1042

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether his attention has been called to a disastrous outbreak of cattle disease which is reported in the "Boston Guardian" of the 22nd ult. to have occurred on the 16th February at Rigsby House, Alford, Lincolnshire, resulting in the death of forty-six head of cattle in thirty hours; whether the superintendent of police of the district took steps for having an analysis made of the food which they had been eating immediately before the outbreak of the disease; and, whether any claim for compensation for the loss is being made on the Government?


Sir, I am glad to say that we are assured that no further death has occurred from this terrible disease. No claim for compensation has been made upon the Government, and as the disease does not come within the provisions of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, 1869, no such claim could be made. I am informed that some of the food which had been partaken of by the cattle prior to the outbreak was analyzed, and that no poisonous agent was detected in it. I ought to mention the cause to which the most experienced Inspectors of the Privy Council are inclined to attribute the disease, but I almost fear to shock the hon. Baronet too much by doing so. However, I think I ought to inform the House that they think it probable that this very serious disease was induced by drinking water.