§ 30. Lord APSLEY
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the original causes of infection have as yet been traced which have caused the many outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the Western and South Midland Counties of England this month; whether he is yet in a position to state to what causes these outbreaks may be attributed; and whether or not he considers them to be all spread from an original outbreak or to have been caused by different agencies acting independently?
§ Sir G. BOWYER
Outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have occurred during this month in six areas, the majority of the cases being in the Lindsey, Lincolnshire, area. Two outbreaks near Grimsby were probably independent of the other cases in that area, in which, however, the means of spread of infection have not definitely been established. The initial cause of infection in any of these six areas has not yet been traced; in the case of one area, however, namely, that at Thorn-bury, Gloucestershire, it is thought that the outbreak may be the recurrence of a previous outbreak in September. No evidence has been obtained which would indicate that an outbreak in any one of the infected areas has been responsible for the occurrence of disease in any of the other areas concerned. The history of the animals involved and their management in the initial case in each of the affected areas vary widely, which suggests the likelihood of different agencies acting independently.
§ Lord APSLEY
Has any general cause been discovered as the reason for these outbreaks at the present time?