§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
I bee to ask the Member for South Somerset, as representing the Board of Agriculture, what steps are being taken as to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Midlothian; if he has any further information on the subject to give to the House; and why a similar statement to that made in the House of Lords yesterday was not made in this House.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
The promises at Gorgie, Midlothian, on which foot-and-mouth disease occurred, were at once declared an infected place, and thereupon the provisions of the Foot and Mouth Disease Order of 1895, which prescribe the steps to be taken to prevent the spread of the disease, were brought automatically into operation. I shall be glad to supply a copy of the Order to my hon. friend. The premises are of course being carefully watched by the police. Orders were also issued yesterday prohibiting absolutely the movement of animals in the district surrounding Edinburgh to the south of the Firth of Forth pending full inquiry. Our chief veterinary officer considers that the existence of the disease must be regarded as established, and in view of the importance of the matter he went to Edinburgh last night and will advise as to further procedure. A staff of inspectors has been dispatched to Edinburgh and is engaged in tracing any other possible centres in which disease exists or to which it may have been conveyed. The information given by my noble friend yesterday did not reach me until after Questions in this House had been completed. I may add that I have just received intimation that a Report his been received from Mr. Douglas to the effect that there are on the infected premises 110 cows and one 1094 calf. Five fat cows have recently been removed from the premises, and have presumably been slaughtered. Inquiries are being made as to that. Three cows have recently been moved on to the premises, but they do not appear to have been the original cause of the outbreak. It has been ascertained that manure from the dairy has recently been sent to two different sets of farm premises in Midlothian, and inquiries are being made as to the manner in which it has been disposed of. The premises are being carefully watched by the police, and everything possible is being clone to prevent the spread of the infection.
§ MR. CHAPLIN (Surrey, Wimbledon)
Can the right hon. Gentleman give to the House any information as to the cause or supposed cause of this outbreak?
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
The cause is being most carefully inquired into, but at present I am unable to make any statement. I may be able to do so later.