§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for North Huntingdonshire, as representing the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that while there is no swine fever in the North of Scotland, the Board of Agriculture has brought pressure to bear on the local authorities of the city and county of Aberdeen and counties of Banff and Kincardine to pass a swine fever order, forbidding the movement of swine into or out of their districts except under restrictions, and that these local authorities have, under pressure from the Board, passed such orders; and, if so, will he state the necessity for such orders; and whether, in view of their effect upon the swine trade in these districts, steps will be taken for their reconsideration.
§ MR. AILWYN FELLOWES (Huntingdonshire, Ramsey)
The regulations referred to by the hon. Member were adopted by the local authority on the suggestion of the Board, and they have for their object the protection of the county against the introduction of infection from outside. They do not impose restrictions upon the movement of swine out of the district, and are on the lines of those which in many parts of Great Britain have been found by experience to combine a minimum of restraint upon trade with a maximum of effectiveness against disease. Indeed, it is to their general adoption that the present improved position with regard to swine fever must be largely attributed. The necessity for some such local protective measures, especially in counties themselves free from infection, is well shown by the case of another Scotch county—Ayrshire—where in the absence of efficient regulations no fewer than forty-nine outbreaks 164 of swine fever have recently occurred owing to the introduction of a consignment of swine from England. There is no objection on our part to counties with a clean bill of health combining together to adopt the same regulations and so widening the area in which free movement is allowed. An arrangement of this character will, we understand, be adopted by Aberdeenshire and the adjoining counties.