HC Deb 28 February 1905 vol 141 cc1466-7
MR. FFRENCH (Wexford, S.)

To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to correspondence published between Dr. E. A. Gibbon, of Sleedagh, county Wexford, and Mr. T. P. Gill, secretary to the Agricultural Department of Ireland, on the subject of an order given by the latter for the destruction of Dr. Gibbon's herd of pigs because his boar had been with a sow belonging to Mr. Stafford. Baldwinstown Castle, which was subsequently slaughtered for swine fever, and no disease found; whether he is aware that, in consequence of Dr. Gibbon's refusal to slaughter his herd, the Department quarantined his entire stock for three months, thereby putting on him a loss in respect of extra feeding of animals that were fit to sell; whether he is aware that, although the disease was suspected in Stafford's herd on December 16th, the suspected animals were not slaughtered till January 18th, a period of over a month, during which no quarantine was in force in his case; whether he is also aware that Stafford's labourers' pigs as well as his own were slaughtered, and no disease found; and, if so, will he direct an inquiry into these cases, with a view to give Dr. Gibbon compensation for his losses.

(Answered by Mr. Atkinson for Mr. Wyndham.) The facts are substantially, as stated in the Question. Owing to the absence of regulations by the local authorities controlling the movement of swine generally in each county in Ireland, the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries of Great Britain recently passed an Order interfering with the free admission of swine from Ireland into Great Britain, and the Irish Department would not feel justified in relaxing any precautions which its professional officers advise as necessary to guard against possible extensions of the disease in any district where it may occur. The case has been dealt with in accordance with established practice. It is proposed to have a final inspection on or about March 9th of the swine belonging to Dr. Gibbon. The restriction period of three months deemed necessary will then have expired, and if the swine are certified by the veterinary inspector to be free from disease the restrictions will be removed. Loss stated to arise from the operation of restrictions is one of the ordinary risks attending the keeping of swine, and is not a matter in respect of which the Department can entertain a claim for compensation.