HC Deb 05 July 1926 vol 197 cc1593-6
38. Mr. T. KENNEDY

asked the Minister of Agriculture how many outbreaks of food-and-mouth disease have been notified in this country since the embargo on the importation of Continental fresh meat was imposed; where the outbreaks have occurred; how many contact animals have been slaughtered; how the carcases of any animals slaughtered were disposed of; and if the source of infection has yet been traced?


As the reply is rather long and contains a number of figures, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Does the right. hon. Gentleman still think it possible that the outbreak from which we have suffered may have been due to foreign meat?


It is impossible yet to say definitely the cause. There are three centres of infection, and they develop at such dates that it might conceivably be accounted for by the imports of foreign meat. But I never pretended that this embargo is a certain preventive of all infection, and the Order' has only been issued as stopping the most obvious proved channel.

Commander WILLIAMS

When the right hon. Gentleman is dealing with this matter, will he consider the case of the importers of foreign meat and the hawkers of foreign onions?


Assuming that the embargo is justified in the case of Holland and Belgium, ought not all possible sources of infection to be similarly closed? On what ground is exception justified?


We have closed all importation against all countries who send us fresh meat where foot-and-mouth disease exists. We arc still willing to receive fresh meat, for example, from Iceland, say, where there is no disease.


With regard to the Argentine, where there has been disease, why did not the embargo apply there?


Because we do not get any fresh meat from there; it is all chilled or frozen.


Are the carcases of the animals burned as soon as possible?


They are burned as soon as possible or buried in quicklime, according to the condition of the case; but in present circumstances it is impossible to get fuel to burn them.


If the exception in the case of the Argentine is explained on the ground that the supply there is frozen or chilled, ought not the embargo in the case of Holland and Belgium, o here we get chilled or frozen meat, to be lifted?


No, I give the distinction between Europe arid the Argentine roughly as being that in the one case they send us fresh meat and in the other chilled, but that is not the only difference. Europe is far more heavily infected than the Argentine. Standstill orders in Europe are absolutely impossible, whereas in the Argentine there are quarantine regulations which, according to our information, have proved effective.

Following is the reply:

The following STATEMENT shows the outbreaks of FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE confirmed in GREAT BRITAIN during the period since the prohibition of CONTINENTAL MEAT was imposed, 4TH JUNE—4TH JULY, 1926, together with the NUMBER OF ANIMALS SLAUGHTERED, and the manner in which the CARCASES were disposed of.
Aniamals slaughtered. Disposal of carcases.
Date of Outbreak. Locality. Cattle. Sheep. Swine. Goats. Destroyed as affected. Destroyed as unfit for food. Salvaged.
June 4th Carluke, Lanarkshire. 17 2 cattle 15 cattle
28 sheep
2 sheep
June 8th Carluke, Lanarkshire. 31 145 1 3 cattle 1 goat 143 sheep
June 14th Carluke, Lanarkshire. 11 6 cattle 5 cattle
June 22nd Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire. 5 24 13 swine 5 cattle 11 swine
June 25th Coppenhall, Crewe, Cheshire. 1 1 1 cattle 1 swine
June 25th Elmstead Heath, Colchester, Essex. 7 7 cattle
June 30th Carluke, Lanarkshire. 6 1 cattle 5 cattle
37 cattle
July 1st Wista-ton, Crewe, Cheshire. 44 75 7 cattle 5 sheep 70 sheep
July 3rd Crewe, Cheshire. 67 85 6 3 cattle 37 cattle 27 cattle
4 pigs 2 pigs 85 sheep
July 4th Carluke, Lanarshire. 8 1 cattle 7 cattle
July 4th Carluke, Lanarshire. 37 2 cattle 35 cattle
Total 11 outbreaks 234 305 31 1 33 cattle 174 cattle 27 cattle
17 swine 7 sheep 298 sheep
3 swine 11 swine
1 goat

On 9th June disease appeared in eight cattle isolated on a farm at Carluke, where an outbreak had originally been confirmed on 28th May. All these eight animals were slaughtered and their carcases destroyed as diseased or unfit for food.

With regard to the last part of the question, the outbreaks at Carluke are all in close proximity to the original case on the sewage farm which was traced to imported carcases of pigs. The original case at Crewe may have been due to imported packing material which had been allowed to come into contact with pigs, in contravention of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Packing Materials) Order, 1925, for which offence the owner was convicted and fined £15 and costs. The origin of the Colchester outbreak has not yet been discovered, but inquiries are still proceeding.