HC Deb 30 April 1883 vol 278 cc1433-4

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is true that all private as well as public sale of cattle has been prohibited in the township of Mullingar, and several other townships in the county of Westmeath, by Orders of Privy Council; whether the April fair at Mullingar was prohibited contrary to the protest of the Board of Guardians, who pointed out to the Council that no case of disease had occurred in the township for fourteen days previously, and offered a site for the fair in an uninfected district; whether, notwithstanding this prohibition of sales and fairs, it still is lawful for any person possessing a certificate to drive sound cattle through an infected district; and, whether drivers and herds who attend one lot of sound cattle are bound to have themselves disinfected before taking charge of another lot, while veterinary and other inspectors may pass from an infected to a sound lot of cattle without having themselves disinfected?


Sir, the townships in the county of Westmeath are not treated exceptionally in this matter. It has been considered necessary to prohibit the holding, except under licence, of public sales and to some extent of private sales, in the district of any local authority in Ireland in which foot-and-mouth disease exists. It was impossible to comply with the application of the Board of Guardians of Mullingar Union for a licence for Mullingar fair, because on the 2nd of April, four days before the usual time for holding the fair, a fresh outbreak of the disease in the township was reported. It is lawful to drive sound cattle through an infected district, with the licence of the local authorities through whoso districts the animals are moved; but it rests with each local authority to grant or withhold such movement licences. Drivers and herds who have been attending only on sound cattle are not bound to have themselves disinfected as suggested. The only persons who are required to be disinfected are cattle dealers and drovers arriving at Irish ports from Great Britain. It is the practice of members of the Government Veterinary Staff, who come into contact with infected animals, to disinfect themselves before passing to any other animals.