HC Deb 01 December 1908 vol 197 cc1261-2

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, if he will state from what source he has received information as to foot-and-mouth disease existing in America; when did the outbreak occur and when was he advised of it; what area is the disease confined to, and will he state the extent of the area affected by the prohibition; are the precautions taken against this disease with regard to America similar to those applied in Great Britain and Ireland; and are any special precautions being taken against the landing of Canadian cattle in view of the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease in America.


The first intimation of the existence of disease in the United States came from the British Consul at Philadelphia, whose cable was received by the Board on the 16th ultimo. Details as to the original outbreak are not yet available, but a full Report is expected shortly from the Ambassador at Washington. The existence of the disease has been confirmed by the federal authorities in the States of Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Maryland, and the exportation of cattle from these States and also from the States of New Jersey and Delaware is prohibited. The regulations of the United States of America normally require imported cattle—except those for immediate slaughter—to be quarantined for sixty days if imported from the United Kingdom, for ninety days if imported from any other country. As regards Canada, however, less stringent requirements obtain. These precautions are not, of course, similar to those in force in Great Britain and Ireland, as the regulations of the former only admit cattle from non-prohibited countries for slaughter at the port of landing, whilst there is no trade in foreign cattle to Ireland. The Board have not themselves adopted any additional precautions against the landing from Canada of cattle for slaughter, as the Dominion Government have taken the most stringent measures to safeguard their herds from the introduction of disease from the United States and have also prohibited the export of their cattle from ports in the United States and the use of their ports by cattle vessels, which have been in such ports.

MR. KILBRIDE (Kildare, S.)

Will the hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that cattle from the infected ports in America are not shipped to this country via Boston?


We are satisfied with the precautions which are being taken.

MR. COOPER (Southwark, Bermondsey)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, which of the States of the United States are prohibited from sending cattle to this country.


Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, so far as our orders are concerned. The Regulations of the Federal Government, under which no cattle are allowed to be exported from States declared to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease, apply also to Michigan.