§ MR. H. GARDNER (Essex, Saffron Walden)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture what was the extent of the area declared to be an infected zone in Essex and Herts by the Order of the Board of Agriculture dated 13th April, 1892, and what the sole reason for that Order; what is the process by which notice of the declaration of an infected zone is given to farmers in districts remote from the market affected; and whether he will consider the desirability in the future—after the disease has been localised on one farm, and a sufficient period has elapsed to show that no other cases have developed since the last open markets of the districts proclaimed—of confining the infected zone to an area of not more than two miles in diameter round the farm where the disease exists?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
The zone declared in Essex and Hertfordshire by the Order of the Board on 13th April comprised the Petty Sessional Divisions of Brentwood, Epping, Ongar, and Orsett, and the liberty of Haveringham Bower, in Essex. The reason for that Order was an outbreak at Clavering, in Essex, among animals which were seen by one of the most experienced officers of the Board, and were found to be undoubtedly affected with the disease. When an outbreak is discovered, and an Order of the Board is passed, the Local Authorities are at once informed of it, generally by telegraph as well as by post; and it is their duty to give publicity to the Orders in the district affected. With regard to the system suggested by the hon. Member of declaring smaller areas of not more than two miles in diameter to be infected, I may remind him that that is practically the system which was formerly adopted and failed so signally in the past; and I should be very reluctant, by any engagement 9 of the kind, to fetter the action of the Board, who must be guided by the circumstances in each case, and upon them the responsibility must necessarily rest of dealing with outbreaks as they think best.
§ MR. H. GARDNER
The right hon. Gentleman says a similar system of areas was formerly adopted and failed, but I do not think he has quite apprehended the tenour of my question. My question was whether, after the right hon. Gentleman has satisfied himself that there is no danger of an outbreak, except in one particular part of the area, he will then contract the area of the zone around the infected spot?
§ MR. CHAPLIN
That is precisely the plan formerly adopted, and which experience tells us it is not expedient to renew.