§ MR. JEFFREYS (Hants, Basingstoke)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture if ho has heard of an outbreak of anthrax that occurred lately at Cliddesden, near Basingstoke, which proved fatal to all the cattle grazing in a certain field there; if he is aware that a case of anthrax occurred in that same field 10 years ago, since which time the field has been ploughed and cultivated and laid down again to grass; and if there is any information before the Department bearing on the question whether germs of the disease could have remained in the land for 10 years, or whether some herb growing on the land could have imparted the disease?
§ MR. H. GARDNER
on communication with the Local Authority for Hampshire, I am informed that the death of a cow from anthrax at Cliddesden on the 5th ultimo has been declared, but no farther appearance of the disease has as jet been reported. No trace can be found of the occurrence of a previous case in the same field 10 years ago, but anthrax was only declared a disease for the purposes of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts in September, 1886. With reference to the concluding paragraph of the question, I may say that there is no doubt that when anthrax has once appeared on any land or premises the disease is liable to recur at uncertain intervals, but the information available would scarcely lead me to think that the germs of the disease could be dormant for, or be communicable by any herb growing on the land after so long a period as 10 years. The probabilities are, I should say, that in this particular instance infection was in some manner re-introduced from elsewhere.