HL Deb 03 July 1912 vol 12 cc339-42

My Lords, I venture to ask the noble Earl opposite whether he is able to give the House any fresh information with regard to the regrettable outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.


My Lords, my noble friend Lord Lucas, who represents the Board of Agriculture in this House, has gone to attend the Show at Doncaster, and in his absence I am glad to give the noble Marquess the information for which he asks. There are four districts in which outbreaks have taken place. In regard to the first distriet—Cumberland—in the course of yesterday a further outbreak was brought to light at Petterill Bank Park, Harraby, in the vicinity of the previous outbreak at Harraby. Six cattle and 126 sheep in the field where the outbreak was detected have been ordered to be slaughtered. There are in adjacent fields thirty-two beasts and forty sheep which will be isolated and kept under constant veterinary observation. No further reports have been received from this district. The total number of outbreaks confirmed in the Cumberland district is now three.

In the second district—South Lancashire and Cheshire—disease was found in the case reported from Cams Farm, Cheadle Heath, near Stockport, yesterday in a cow which had been exposed for sale at Salford Market on the 25th ult. It is stated that the other animals on the farm have not been in contact with this cow, but a further report is awaited. The reported case from Dukinfield, referred to in yesterday's report, was not confirmed. Later in the day a report was received from a farm near Altrincham, in Cheshire, which on investigation was found to be not foot-and-mouth disease; and a further report was received from the neighbourhood of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, which is still under investigation. The total number of outbreaks in the Lancashire and Cheshire district is now five—namely, three in Liverpool, one in Manchester abattoirs, and one near Stockport, Cheshire.

In regard to Wakefield, the third district, of the reported cases referred to in yesterday's report that at Ackworth, near Pontefract, was found not to be foot-and-mouth disease. The disease was, however, detected at a farm at Lower Blacup Heights Hill, Liversedge, in an Irish bullock that had been exposed in Wakefield Market on June 26. In connection with this outbreak the slaughter of five milking cows which were in the same field as the Irish bullock has been ordered, and the eighteen pigs and four sheep on the farm will be kept under observation. There is also an Irish bullock on the farm which it is understood will be slaughtered by the owner. Disease has also been found at York House, Purston, Pontefract, as regards which full information as to the animals on the farm has not yet been received. Since the issue of yesterday's report a further outbreak of the disease has been detected at Summer Lane, Barnsley, in the carcase of an animal in a slaughter-house, which animal had been exposed in Wakefield Market on June 26; and also at Netherfield Farm, Ackton, Normanton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in two cows pasturing in a field on the farm. The only other information at present available is that five cattle are pasturing on adjoining fields. A suspected case was also reported from Stainforth, Doncaster, which on investigation proved to be not foot-and-mouth disease. The total number of outbreaks which have now been confirmed in the Wakefield district is six.

With regard to the fourth district—Northumberland and North Durham—both of the reported outbreaks referred to in yesterday's report from Kirk Whelpington parish have been confirmed—namely, one at a farm at Catcherside, Kirk Whelpington, on which there are eighty-two cattle, 600 sheep, and two pigs, and the second at Cornhills Farm, Kirk Whelpington, on which there are 133 cattle, 659 sheep, and two pigs. Further particulars as to these animals are awaited. The suspected case at Chollerton Farm, Chollerton parish, has also been confirmed (particulars as to the animals on this farm are not yet to hand), as well as that at Nedderton South Farm, Bedlington. In this latter case further information is also awaited. The suspected outbreak Benwell Newcastle-on-Tyne, has also been confirmed amongst a herd of thirty-nix cattle pasturing in a field. In this case further particulars are awaited. Reported cases of the disease from Ratcleugh, near Alnwick, Northumberland, and from Snipe House, Alnwick, are still under investigation. The total number of outbreaks confirmed in this district is now seven.

Up to date there have been six reported cases investigated which have turned out to be not foot-and-mouth disease—namely, one in Leicestershire, one in Renfrewshire, two in Cheshire, and two in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Three reported cases are still outstanding and await investigation—namely, two in the Alnwiek district of Northumberland and one in the Holmes Chapel district of Cheshire. In consequence of the fact that it has now been definitely ascertained that some of the suspected Irish bullocks were exposed in Nottingham Market an Order has been made scheduling the area surrounding Nottingham as regards the holding of markets within, and the movement of animals out of, the district.

My right hon. friend the President of the Board of Agriculture has been anxious to obviate as far as possible any difficulties as regards the supply of meat in populous districts, and he therefore proposes to-day to issue Orders allowing fat animals for immediate slaughter to be brought from outside the scheduled areas into some of the larger towns in the West Riding and in the district of Liverpool, and also to allow movement within those towns to slaughter-houses. He hopes to be able, in the course of a day or two, to make a similar concession as regards other towns in the scheduled areas. I will read to your Lordships the towns to which the Orders allowing movement for slaughter will apply. They are: In the Wakefield area—Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Pudsey, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Batley, Ossett, Brighouse, Morley and Pontefract; in the Liverpool district—Bootle, Birkenhead, St. Helens, Wallesey and Widnes.

I regret to say that further outbreaks have been reported, although the news is not yet confirmed, in four other districts—one in Lincolnshire, in the Lindsey division; one in Morpeth; one in Gateshead; and one in Christchurch. Hampshire. Your Lordships will see the gravity of the outbreak in Lincolnshire and in Christchurch because neither of these areas up to now has been affected. The total number of outbreaks reported is thirty-four—of these twenty-four have been confirmed; four cases have been found to be not foot-and-mouth disease, and six are still open and under investigation.


Can the noble Earl say whether the statement is true which has appeared in the newspapers, that the outbreak conies from cattle which were exported from Swords, in County Dublin?


I would lather have notice of that question.


Can my noble friend tell me whether the Board of Agriculture have been successful in tracing the animals which have been in contact with the diseased animals?


I know that the Board of Agriculture are doing their best, but whether they have been able to trace every animal which has been in contact I am not in a position to say.


Can the noble Earl tell us whether there have been any further outbreaks in Ireland?


None have been reported.


The noble Earl mentioned that an outbreak had occurred in Lincolnshire; can lie tell me the place?


I am afraid I do not know the actual parish.