HC Deb 10 June 1912 vol 39 cc534-5

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that six months have now elapsed since the stamping out of the last outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in England, and that, according to precedent, Argentine ports should now be thrown open to English live stock; whether he is aware that the Argentine authorities have declined to adopt this course until the British Government have made an official notification to the above effect to the Argentine Government; and whether, in the interests of English stock owners, he will cause such notification to be made forthwith?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)

The Argentine Government were officially informed by telegram on 5th February that the last case of foot-and-mouth disease was extirpated on 11th December by the slaughter of all animals affected or directly exposed to danger of infection, that the precautionary measures which had been imposed locally were withdrawn on 10th January, and that no sign of foot-and-mouth disease then existed in any part of the United Kingdom. That statement holds good at the present time, and it is therefore the case that six months have now elapsed since the last outbreak occurred. The Argentine Government have not asked for an official notification to this effect from the Government of this country. Such a notification will, of course, be furnished to them at once if they desire it, but I assume that, being aware of the date of the last outbreak, they will now proceed to issue a new Decree withdrawing the restrictions imposed on account of the recent outbreaks.