§ MR. TOLLEMACHE (Cheshire, Eddisbury)
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Whether the attention of the Agricultural Department of the Privy Council has been called to the serious outbreak of "anthrax" in Cheshire; and, whether they will consider the advisability of extending the powers of Local Authorities under the Animals Act, 1886, so as to empower them to order the slaughter of animals affected with this disease, and to pay compensation for animals so slaughtered?
§ THE FIRST LORD of the TREASURY (Mr. W. H. Smith) (Strand, Westminster)
(who replied) said: The Government do not propose to treat anthrax in the same manner as pleuro-pneumonia, as they are advised that the two diseases are of a totally different character. Slaughter in anthrax would, in most cases, be impracticable, as animals are usually found dead without any warning, or die very quickly after the symptoms become apparent. Further, as the disease does not spread by association of diseased with healthy animals, as is the case with pleuro-pneumonia, slaughter and compensation would only be for the benefit of the owner, and not for the community.
§ SIR JOHN SWINBURNE (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
asked, What steps Her Majesty's Government have taken, or intend to take, to stamp out the recent outbreak of anthrax, which is committing; such ravages in the county of Cheshire?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
The recent outbreak of anthrax in Cheshire has apparently been confined to one farm, and chiefly affected swine, of which 31 are reported to have died, and also three sheep. No cases have been reported since March 19. Immediately the disease was recognized the Local Authority took action under the Anthrax Order, and prevented the movement of animals from the farm. An Inspector of the Privy Council has visited the farm, and from his Report it does not appear that there is anything remarkable in the outbreak of anthrax, which disease, it is said, occurs every year on this farm, and is accounted for by the existence of insanitary conditions which are most 1152 favourable for the development of the disease.