HC Deb 05 March 1886 vol 303 cc12-3

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Whether he is aware that during the past year several of the outbreaks of pleuro-pneumonia in Great Britain have been traced to Irish cattle, and that it has seriously depreciated their value in the markets of Great Britain; that as for many months past the disease in Ireland has been confined to Dublin and a limited area around that city, whether he will, in the interests of the stock owners of Ireland and Great Britain, press upon the Privy Council of Ireland the desirability of rigidly enforcing the provisions of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act of 1878; and, in order that the United Kingdom may be free from a disease which has imposed such serious national losses for so many years past, whether he will also press the same upon the local authorities in Great Britain?


During 1885 several Reports were received from Inspectors of Local Authorities of outbreaks of pleuro-pneumonia in Great Britain, which were attributed to the introduction of Irish cattle. In every case where it appeared on inquiry that the animals had been recently landed, the attention of the Irish Government was called to the circumstance, in order that the animals might be traced to their origin. I must, however, remind my hon. Friend that in a large proportion of the cases reported the animals had been a long time in this country before the disease was detected among them, and in those cases it was impossible to come to any conclusion as to whether or not the animals were infected before leaving Ireland. The Privy Council are in frequent communication with the Irish Privy Council on the subject, and are satisfied that they are fully alive to the importance of dealing with this disease. I would only further remark that the disease is not spread by the movement of obviously diseased animals, but by the movement of animals which have been herded with diseased ones, and the Act of 1878 only provides for the compulsory slaughter of diseased animals. Whenever it appears that Local Authorities are not acting with the necessary stringency, the Privy Council invariably urge them to adopt measures for the purpose of stamping out the disease.


I beg to give Notice that I shall take the earliest opportunity of moving that the Act be so amended.