HC Deb 05 July 1897 vol 50 cc1103-4
SIR ARTHUR FOR WOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether British steamers which call at Havre to receive cargo on their outward voyage for America are precluded from conveying from America to England live cattle for slaughter on landing, unless a period of 21 days has elapsed between the time of call at the French port and their arrival at the English port, on the ground that infection from the cargo received in France but landed in America may be conveyed to the beasts subsequently received on the vessel in America and landed in England; and, whether, as there is no restriction on the direct importation and distribution of merchandise from France into England, he will re-consider the regulations of the Board as regards vessels?


The landing of foreign animals has for very many years Fast been subject to the requirement that the vessel in which they are brought should not before taking them on board have touched within a specified period at a port in a country from which the importation of animals is entirely prohibited. This requirement is rendered necessary by the fact that some of the diseases against which we legislate can be transmitted not only directly from animal to animal, but also through the medium of persons, substances, and things, and actual experience has shown that the danger is a very real one. I regret, therefore, that I am tillable to withdraw the requirement, and with regard to the particular period to be prescribed, I would say that some years ago it was reduced from 28 to 21 days, and t hat I do not think it could be further reduced consistently with safety.


asked whether it was not the fact that goods and persons coming directly from France, only a few hours distant, Came into England without any restriction?


said it certainly was the fact, but if his right hon. Friend desired to assume that they regarded it as entirely free from danger, he should be obliged to say that they reserved their opinion.