§ 36. Brigadier-General Clifton Brown
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the British Isles are now free from foot-and-mouth disease; and what has been the cost to the country of the recent outbreak?
§ The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. W. S. Morrison)
The recent series of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease commenced in October, 1937. The disease was successfully eradicated by the middle of January in the group of outbreaks affecting the South-Eastern counties and by the 9th March in Wiltshire and adjoining counties. The cost of compensation for animals slaughtered in respect of the whole series amounted to £400,000. Unfortunately, fresh centres of disease have appeared in Wiltshire (Calne district) on 26th March, in Glamorgan (at Pengam) on 27th March and during the week-end at Birmingham and Nottingham, and in Northamptonshire. The Glamorgan outbreak appears to be an isolated case, but in the Calne area there have been 12 new outbreaks, and I am sorry to say that the information which has been obtained with regard to the outbreaks in Birmingham, Nottingham and Northamptonshire indicates the possibility of a very widespread area of infection. There is reason to suppose that infection may have been present in, and distributed from, Banbury Market on 24th March and, if this is confirmed, a very serious situation will have arisen in view of the extensive distribution of stock from that market. An Order controlling movement of stock over a large part of the country, from Yorkshire and Lancashire down to the South Coast (but possibly excluding Wales) may prove to be necessary.