HC Deb 06 February 1908 vol 183 cc1091-2
MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is able to state what action the Board intends to take with respect to the unsatisfactory Returns in connection with swine fever; and whether he will now appoint a Departmental Committee to consider the question, and especially the policy adopted by the Board during the last few years.


The question of swine fever has been engaging the earnest attention of my noble friend and the officers concerned for some time past, and as a result of further experimental investigations which have been conducted by the veterinary officers of the Board it has been decided to issue new Orders on the subject which will it is believed enable the operations against the disease to be conducted in a manner fully calculated to ensure their eventual success, whilst at the same time modifying to a considerable extent the restrictions imposed on the movement of swine for breeding purposes and for slaughter which have been found to cause hardship. It is also proposed to use our powers of slaughter more freely so as to enable premises to be freed from restrictions at an earlier date than would otherwise be the case. The suggestion that a Departmental Committee should be appointed will be kept in mind, but any inquiry of the kind would occupy some months, and my noble friend is anxious to bring the new Orders into force with as little delay as possible. Their results will, of course, be carefully watched.