HC Deb 27 May 1908 vol 189 cc1107-8

I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, if animals from infected countries are landed at Continental ports for slaughter, if the hides, skins, and offals in a raw state are sent to English markets, and if the vessels employed in the trade proceed direct to British ports to discharge cargo or reload; if he can state what precautions, if any, are taken by the Board to prevent the introduction into this country of diseases of animals through the importation of the hides, skins, offals, and meat, and through the landing of persons and cargo from off the vessels on to British soil; and if there has been brought to the notice of the Board any case of diseases of animals in Great Britain traced to infection attributed to any of the above possible causes.


A trade such as that to which my hon. friend refers exists as regards animals brought from Argentina to Belgium. All vessels engaged in that trade are required to be disinfected to the satisfaction of officers of the Belgian Government immediately after the landing of animals and before leaving the Belgian port. No outbreak of disease in this country has circumstantially been traced to the importation of hides, offals, etc., and the adoption of precautionary measures in relation to them has frequently been considered, but it has always been held to be impracticable.