HC Deb 06 March 1900 vol 80 cc215-7
DR. TANNER (Cork County, Mid)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, in consequence of the recently introduced quarantine regulations between England and Ireland, sporting and show dogs are debarred from being used for sporting purposes, competition in field trials, or for exhibition, entailing a monetary loss on owners of well-conducted kennels; and whether performing dogs are free from restrictions, and greyhounds are allowed to pass for the purposes of taking part in coursing meetings, while setters, pointers, and spaniels are excluded from taking part in field trial meetings. I beg also to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether cattle drovers and dealers are now prevented taking their dogs with them when crossing to England, thereby experiencing trouble in disembarking and managing the cattle; and whether, if the English Board of Agriculture considers it necessary to retain the quarantine regulations in any form, exemption will be granted to sporting, show, and cattle dealers' dogs, provided they are certified by the owner and by a duly qualified veterinary surgeon not to be suffering from rabies and not to have been exposed to any risk of contagion for a period of three months, and that in these cases a licence without any restrictions be granted.


In reply to these questions I would say that in view of the fact that rabies continues to exist in Ireland, whilst it may be said to be practically extinguished in Great Britain, I felt it necessary to impose restrictions on the landing of dogs brought from Ireland until such time as the disease may have been stamped out there. The restrictions have been somewhat relaxed in a few cases of performing dogs and greyhounds where we were satisfied that a concession could safely be made, but it would not be practicable to extend a similar relaxation to so large a class of dogs as that referred to without serious risk of the reintroduction of the disease—a result which, after all we have gone through to secure our present most satisfactory position, I am sure the House would wish me to take every possible means to avoid.


May I ask if the reason why performing dogs are exempted is simply because they are English?

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman see his way to allow drovers' dogs, which are almost necessary to the Irish cattle trade, to be relieved of these restrictions?


I have carefully considered that point, and I think that these restrictions are necessary, because, inall probability, greater risks attach to drovers' dogs than to other animals.


There were fifty Italian dogs in Dublin last week or the week before.