§ MR. AILWYN FELLOWES (Hunts, Ramsey)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that it was reported at a meeting of the Leicestershire County Council that anthrax recently broke out on a farm of Mr. Warren, at Arnesby; not only cattle, but human beings and all kinds of animals were attacked that the farmer and 16 men were ill at one time of this disease, one man dying at the Leicester Infirmary; that a woman was stung by a fly and died from anthrax; and that cats, dogs, and birds also died; and whether it is true that, in reply to an application by the County Council asking for an Inspector to be sent down to make inquiry, the Board of Agriculture replied that they had not a professional officer to send down?
§ *MR. J. W. LOGAN (Leicester, Harborough)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture if he is aware that an application has been made to his Department by the Leicestershire County Council for the assistance of a professional man to inquire into the cause of an outbreak of anthrax at Arnesby, in. that county, of so severe a character that, in addition to the loss of the farmer, 16 residents are said to have been attacked by the disease, to which one of them succumbed; that his Department replied that they had no professional man to send; and, whether he will consider of providing some means by which some help and advice might be promptly given to a local authority doing its utmost to stamp out such a pestilence, and will issue such instructions as will insure immediate attention to the matter?
§ *MR. HERBERT GARDNER
I may perhaps reply at the same time to the question which my hon. Friend the Member for the Harborough Division also asks me on this subject. It is the case that an outbreak of anthrax which led to the loss of two cows and a ewe recently occurred on a farm at Arnesby, but the statements made as to loss and injury to human life appear to have had 1041 reference to an outbreak which occurred nine years ago, and I do not gather that any such loss and injury has taken place on the present occasion. I am always very anxious to afford Local Authorities any assistance in my power, and the information we have issued on the subject of Anthrax has been more than usually elaborate. But, as the hon. Member is aware, the business of dealing with outbreaks of this disease rests with those authorities, whose duty it is to employ such veterinary assistance as they may require, and I regret that it is not in my power, nor is it in my opinion desirable, that I should afford them relief in this respect, especially in a case in which no special features present themselves.