HC Deb 14 April 1904 vol 133 c185

To ask the hon. Member for North Huntingdonshire, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, if his attention has been called to the increase of anthrax in Norfolk; and whether, to aid in checking this and other contagious diseases, the Board of Agriculture will give compensation to the extent of one-third of the value of all cattle dying of such diseases where the cases have been duly and properly reported to the authorities.

(Answered by Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.) The position of Norfolk with regard to anthrax in recent years shows no very material change. The number of outbreaks reported was ten in 1901, nine in 1902, twelve in 1903, and six during the current year. Under the law, as it at present stands, compensation is only payable where animals are slaughtered to prevent the spread of infection. Slaughter in the usual manner is not to be recommended in cases of anthrax, where all spilling of blood should be avoided. The payment of compensation in cases in which animals die from anthrax and other contagious diseases would entail a very considerable charge upon public funds without any equivalent advantage to the public. I am afraid there is no probability of our being able to submit any proposal to Parliament in the direction suggested.