§ MR. SEAVERNS (Lambeth, Brixton)
To ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he will explain why the order prohibiting the importation of hay, which was to apply only to hay from European ports and certain South American countries, has been extended to other countries; and will he state in which of the countries prohibited foot-and-mouth disease exists to-day, and particularly whether it exists in Algeria.
(Answered by Sir Edward Strachey.) The object of the order was to prohibit the importation of hay and straw from countries where we had reasonable grounds for supposing that foot-and-mouth disease actually exists, or where the sanitary precautions taken do not safeguard the country from its introduction, and the list of countries scheduled was prepared on this basis. Owing to the nature of the disease, it is not possible to say in who many of those scheduled countries it actually exists at the present moment, but the latest 170 Returns available go to show that it exists, or has recently existed, in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Russia, Roumania, Netherlands, France, and Germany. As to Algeria we have no definite information, but we have reason to believe that disease has existed there recently. In any case, it must be regarded as a dangerous country.