§ MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he will make an inquiry regarding the centralised and periodical system of sheep dressing, by which sheep scab has been almost entirely prevented; and whether he will consider the advisability of introducing it as a compulsory measure in the three kingdoms.
§ *THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. HANBURY, Preston)
I assume that the hon. Member refers to the Australian Colonies, where of course the conditions are not the same as in this country, the flocks there being very large and in the hands of a comparatively limited number of owners. The system adopted is already well known to us. The Board of Agriculture can only deal with the question in Great Britain, and not in Ireland. In Great Britain the powers of the local authorities are very large, and if properly exercised should be sufficient to keep the disease within narrow limits. I am glad to say that in the twelve months ending March 31st last the number of sheep attacked was about 30 per cent. less than in the previous year and in England was less than 1 per 1,000 of the whole; in Wales 1 in 350; in Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, and Nottinghamshire 1 in 200, 560, and 500. The numbers attacked in these counties have fallen from 1,018 to 959, 2,850 to 729, 1,127 to 355.