§ MR. JEFFREYS (Hants, Basingstoke)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture if he can say, for the information of owners and breeders of stock in the United Kingdom, what is the period of incubation in a case of pleuropneumonia before the disease can be detected with certainty in a living animal; whether he is aware that there are various instances on record in which it is impossible to detect the disease in the living animal, although it has been proved by examination after death that it must have been affected for a prolonged period of time; and what is the longest period within the knowledge of the Board of Agriculture during which an animal has been so affected without detection of the disease?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. H. GARDNER,) Essex, Saffron Walden
The period which occurs between the exposure to infection and the appearance of symptoms of pleuro-pneumonia is ordinarily about 30 days, although it sometimes extends to 90. Instances are on record in which post-mortem examination has shown an animal to have been affected with disease of long standing, the existence of which was not previously suspected, but in these cases it is probable that the disease would have been detected if the animal had been examined by an expert prior to slaughter. In one exceptional case which came under the notice of the professional officers of my Department, an animal appeared to have been affected for about a year without being detected, but the ordinary period of development of the disease is that which I have stated.
MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
Is it intended by the Board to institute a series of scientific experiments, so that such questions as these may be decided?
§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
I should like to ask whether in many cases in which disease has been found after death it was latent and not attributable to infection?
§ MR. H. GARDNER
I should like to have notice of that. I have stated to the House the best opinion I could get, that of the highest experts. I am not a veterinary surgeon myself.
But will a series of scientific experiments be instituted, so as to secure for us the information which the right hon. Gentleman himself cannot give?