§ MR. FELLOWES (Huntingdonshire, Ramsey)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture if he has received resolutions from several important bodies, including one from the Council of the Royal Agricultural Society, urging the Board to take the same steps for stamping out swine fever as those taken in the case of pleuro-pneumonia; and in view of the fact that the Return lately presented to Parliament shows that there is no uniformity in the present regulations, he will consider the advisability of bringing in a Bill to enable the Board to deal with swine fever as with pleuro-pneumonia; and, failing this, if they will issue more stringent and uniform regulations to be carried out by all the Local Authorities throughout Great Britain?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
Resolutions have been received by the Board of Agriculture from several County Councils and other bodies respecting swine fever, some of which urged that the disease should be dealt with by the Board in the same way as pleuro-pneumonia; while others, including that from the Royal Agricultural Society of England, made general recommendations in favour of greater stringency in the measures to be adopted than those at present employed. With regard to the second question, the hon. Member must see that in the present state of Public Business, apart from all other considerations, it would be impossible to introduce and carry a Bill dealing effectually with the subject during the present Session. Inquiries have recently been made by the Board into the continued existence of swine fever, and the measures adopted in various localities for dealing with it, and the whole question is now under the consideration of the Board. But in the absence of fresh legislation, past ex- 540 perience would seem to show that nothing short of an Order absolutely closing all markets for the sale of swine would have any substantial effect in checking the disease, and in view of the immense inconvenience and the great opposition which such a measure would cause at this season of the year, I doubt the expediency of attempting it.