HC Deb 23 February 1905 vol 141 cc1087-8
MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that South African disease has broken out among the horses of the artillery stationed at Waterford, and to the fact that veterinary authorities consider this disease, though slow of development, highly infectious and incurable; if so, will he say when was the first case reported and when was the animal suffering from it destroyed: whether the Army veterinary surgeon recently stationed at Waterford reported that if the disease was to be stamped out all the horses then in barracks should be destroyed, and the stables thoroughly disinfected; and whether it is the intention of the War Office to have that recommendation carried out, or what steps do they intend taking to prevent the spread of this disease.


Epizootic lymphangitis appeared at Waterford among horses of the Royal Artillery in November and December, 1903, in two instances, which were both cured, the last case was admitted in October, 1904, and at once destroyed, since when there have been no more cases. The veterinary authorities do not consider this disease to be absolutely incurable, although many cases have to be destroyed as a precautionary measure. There is no doubt as to its infectious character. The disease is now practically stamped out of the Army, only isolated cases being occasionally reported. The precautionary measures taken have therefore proved to be sufficient. The veterinary officer at Waterford had received instructions as to all precautionary measures to be taken to stamp out the disease, and we have no knowledge that he suggested that all horses in barracks should be destroyed.


Seeing that a case has appeared in county Waterford, will the right hon. Gentleman institute inquiries by competent people?


Yes, I can give a most positive assurance that any case will be carefully inquired into.