HC Deb 21 July 1913 vol 55 cc1676-8

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if he will state what are the tropical and sub-tropical diseases against which it is proposed to immunise British livestock by inoculation at the Gevernment cattle-testing station at Pirbright prior to their exportation abroad?

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Herbert Lewis, for the President of the Board of Agriculture)

My right lion. Friend desires me to say that the diseases are Redwater and Anaplasmosis. Work will also be carried on at the laboratory with a view to making it possible to immunise against other diseases which militate against the exportation of British pedigree stock.


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if, in the opinion of his expert advisers the system of inoculation either with live or dead bacilli as a means of immunisation against or as a remedy for epizootic abortion, as practised by farmers in Cornwall or elsewhere, has proved successful or is likely so to do; and whether, in the light of further scientific knowledge of this disease the Board has abandoned the idea of compulsory notification and departmental restrictions in connection with this disease?


The experiments and investigations which are being conducted on behalf of the Board are not yet complete, and although there is reason from present indications to hope that the results will prove satisfactory, the Board do not yet feel themselves justified in compelling farmers against their wishes, to accept the recommendations of the Departmental Committee.


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the information in the hands of the Board shows that Johnes's disease amongst either cattle or sheep is still on the increase in Great Britain; in what parts of the country is it most prevalent; whether the ætiology and true nature of the disease have yet been determined; and whether any effective means, either of prevention or cure, have yet been discovered?


Johnes's disease, not being a notifiable disease under the Diseases of Animals Acts, it is impossible to give a definite answer to the first part of the question, but there is ample evidence that it is a comparatively common disease of cattle in all parts of the country. The answer to the third part of the question is in the affirmative, and to the last part it is in the negative. The disease, however, is still being investigated by the Board.


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether the Committee of Inquiry which was dispatched by the Board to India last year to conduct research as to the nature and methods of transmission of foot-and-mouth disease have completed their labours and returned to this country; if not, how much longer is their inquiry likely to last; who are the present members of the Committee; and whether they have presented any interim or other Report to the Board?


The Commission consists of Professor Sir John McFadyean, principal of the Royal Veterinary College, London; Professor A. R. Mettam, of the Royal Veterinary College of Ireland, and Sir Stewart Stockman, the chief veterinary officer of the Board, with Mr. Wragg, one of the Board's veterinary officers, as secretary. The investigation in India has been completed, but the further proceedings of the Commission must be suspended until the return to duty of Sir Stewart Stockman, who, I regret to say, has been seriously ill, and is still unable to attend to business. In these circumstances no interim or other Report has yet been presented to the Board.