§ MR. JEFFREYS (Hants, Basingstoke)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture how many herds of cattle in England are suffering from anthrax at the present time; what precautions have been taken to prevent the disease spreading; and if he can state how the disease originates amongst cattle?
§ MR. H. GARDNER
Anthrax was reported to exist on 13 farms in England during the week ended the 12th instant. The measures taken to prevent the spreading of the disease are set out in a General Order issued by me on the 16th December fast, a copy of which I shall be happy to supply to the hon. Member. The disease is due to the entrance into the blood of a minute bacillus, which is a species of fungus and grows from spores or seeds, and the difficulty of dealing with it is due to the fact that it is practically impossible to prevent these microscopic organisms from entering stables and fields. The hon. Member will find some interesting information on the subject in the Annual Report of the Director of the Veterinary Department for the year 1892.