HC Deb 02 September 1909 vol 10 cc576-7

asked the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether he is aware that the importations of American cattle into this country fell from 344,461 in 1907 to 260,711 in 1903 on account of the scheduling of an area of over 174,000 square miles in the United States under the Board's Order through the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease; whether he has any official information showing that the outbreak was due to the importation into America of contaminated vaccine virus by manufacturers of vaccine, and involved the loss of many hundreds of thousands of dollars; whether every recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in America originated on a vaccine farm; and whether, in order to minimise the risk of a similar calamity in England, he is prepared to recommend that the importation of vaccine into this country be prohibited?

The TREASURER of the HOUSEHOLD (Sir E. Strachey)

The decline in imports of cattle from the United States in 1908 was attributable to other causes than merely the scheduling of certain States, which did not take place till late in November of that year. The Department of Agriculture for the United States issued a Report last June—Circular 147—as to the origin of the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in that country, and the conclusions therein arrived at are, in short, those mentioned by my hon. Friend. The Board are considering what, if any, steps can be taken to guard against a similar occurrence in this country, and they will bear in mind the suggestion made.