§ MR. FELLOWES (Hunts, Ramsey)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the recommendation made by the Central Chamber of Agriculture last November, and by other Agricultural Bodies, that Local Authorities should be empowered, in the case of the death of an animal from anthrax, to award to the owner the market value of the carcase (not to exceed £1), has been adopted; and, if not, whether he will state the objection, if any, to its adoption as a means of securing early notice of outbreaks of the disease? At the same time, I may ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the greatly-increased prevalence of anthrax and the serious consequences of the disease not only to live stock, but in some cases to human beings also, he is prepared to appoint a Departmental Committee to consider how far it is possible to adopt further measures for its prevention?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. H. GARDNER,) Essex, Saffron Walden
The recommendation to which the hon. Member refers could not be carried out without legislation; but, in any case, I do not think its adoption would be of any material assistance in preventing the spreading of disease. I cannot conveniently state the objections to the proposal within the limits of an answer to a question; but if the hon. Member will communicate with me personally I shall be happy to explain them to him, and I may also refer him to the letter I addressed to the Central Chamber of Agriculture on the subject on the 22nd of November last. With regard to the suggestion for the appointment of a Departmental Committee, which the hon. Member makes in a separate question on the subject, I shall be happy to consider whether such an inquiry would be of advantage; but I wish, in the first instance, to be in possession of certain Reports for which I have called respecting the feasibility of inoculation for anthrax, and as to the measures adopted in foreign countries to prevent the spreading of the disease.