§ Mr. FALCONER
asked the Vice-President whether he can explain the fact that, while two spurious cases of foot-and-mouth disease were detected in Dublin, the cattle in the cargo from Newry to Dublin which were actually infected were not detected at Newry?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The Department's veterinary inspector at Newry, a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, of twenty-eight years' experience, reports that all the cattle shipped on the occasion, and which were fat cattle for slaughter, were under his observation in the inspection pens at Newry for more than three hours, and that none of them exhibited any external symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease. Experience of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks has amply shown that animals can be affected and yet present no symptoms that can be detected on external examination. Experience has also shown in several instances that animals which have been subjected to mouth examination and found apparently free from the disease have, on examination the following day, been found to have developed in the interval the lesions of the disease in full activity. The cases referred to by the hon. Member for Forfarshire as having been detected in Dublin were among store cattle, and were found on mouthing these animals. It should be explained that in accordance with an understanding with the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries it has not been the practice since the exportation of store cattle recommenced to mouth at the Irish ports the fat animals brought for shipment to the foreign animals' wharves for slaughter therein, but the store cattle, which are intended to be moved, after a period of quarantine, to other places in Great Britain, are mouthed before being shipped.