HC Deb 13 March 1913 vol 50 cc425-6

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if his ex- pert advisers recognise the existence as a separate disease of the apparently new sheep disease prevalent in the border counties and there known as scrapie, or whether it is a form of Johne's disease which in many respects it appears to resemble; whether it is contagious; and what steps, if any, are being taken by the Board to prevent its spreading?


I am advised that scrapie has been been ascertained to be different from Johne's disease. There is some evidence to show that it is contagious, but the scientific investigations which are being carried out on behalf of the Board by the Royal Veterinary College are not yet complete. The question what steps can be taken to prevent the spread of the disease is engaging the serious attention of the Board, but I am not at present in a position to make any definite statement.


Is it a disease which was unknown until lately?


I cannot say that it is an entirely new disease, but it is not the same virus as Johne's disease. Our inquiries go to prove that it has extended more during the last few months than we had expected.