HC Deb 11 December 1912 vol 45 cc481-4W

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture how many outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease occurred in England during 1911 and 1912 up to the present date; how many in Ireland during the same period; and how many in France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Austria-Hungary in the same space of time?


The total number of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease which occurred in Great Britain, Ireland, And Holland during 1911, and up to the roost recent date for which the information is available during the present year is as follows:—

1911. 1912.
Great Britain 19 83 (to 5 Dec.)
Ireland Nil 68 (to 30 Nov.)
Holland 70,448 294 (to 31 Oct.)
The Returns issued by the Governments of the other countries named do not afford information which is comparable with the above figures, but the following tables will probably serve the purpose which the hon. Member has in view:—


Number of places ("foyers") infected with foot-and-mouth disease during the fortnight ending—

1911. 1912.
January 15th Nil 74
April 15th 28 11
July 15th 4,097 5
October 15th 1,069 1


Number of places ("étables") infected with foot-and-mouth disease:—

1911. 1912.
January Nil 2,959
April 216 463
July 16,027 2,426
August 33,966 1,947
October 14,115 3,459


Number of places ("Gehöfte") infected with foot-and-mouth disease at the following dates:—

1911. 1912.
January 15th 5,117 7,881
April 15th 11,917 2,103
July 15th 25,406 1,031
October 15th 84,463 240
November 15th 30,444 255


Number of places ("Höfe") infected with foot-and-mouth disease:—

Week ending 1911. Week ending 1912.
January 4th 34,074 January 3rd 24,208
April 5th 8,642 April 3rd 866
July 5th 19,519 July 3rd 292
October 4th 110,382 October 2nd 971
November 22nd 77,529 November 20th 694


Number of places ("cours") infected with foot-and-mouth disease:—

Week ending 1911. Week ending 1912
January 4th 37,486 January 3rd 6,708
April 5th 21,484 April 3rd 52
July 5th 45,544 July 3rd 120
October 4th 52,524 October 2nd 64
November 8th 21,267 November 6th 20


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture when the normal conditions of trade in cattle will be resumed between Great Britain and Ireland; and, if no definite decision on the above can be come to, will the ports of Munster and Connaught be thrown open, as no disease has been known to exist there during the past thirty years, and by doing so prevent loss to the poorer farmers who cannot dispose of their sound stock?


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture when he now proposes to withdraw the present total prohibition of the importation of Irish cattle and permit shipments of fat cattle for immediate slaughter and store cattle under reasonable quarantine regulations?


An Order was issued yesterday which permits of the landing of Irish animals for slaughter at authorised landing places, provided that they come from the districts with regard to which we can be reasonably confident that foot-and-mouth disease does not exist, and out of which movement is not for the time being prohibited. In view of the circumstances which I explained fully to the House on Monday last, I do not think that any further modification of the restrictions can as yet be made consistent with full security against the introduction of the disease into Great Britain, but the situation is being closely and continuously watched by my right hon. Friend the Vice-President and myself, and I hope that, if nothing untoward occurs, it maybe possible for me before very long to provide for the admission of a certain number of store cattle from those parts of Ireland to which there is no reason to believe that the disease has been conveyed. They would, of course, be subject to a short period of detention and supervision at the landing place, and subsesequently on the farms to which they are sent. I hope also to be able at the same time to extend the area from which animals are allowed to enter British ports for slaughter.


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, during the six months' probationary period since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, any case of infectious disease has been reported from any part of the province of Munster, or in any locality within 150 miles of the port of Cork, or among any of the many thou- sands of cattle, sheep, and swine shipped from that port during the above period; whether, if the province of Munster, enjoying such complete immunity from disease, formed part of England, its farmers and cattle-traders would have suffered any loss or interference with their trade; and whether, having regard to the penalties caused or inflicted upon this province by the present restrictions, he will extend to Ireland the same system in force in England in districts with a similarly clean bill of health?


The facts stated in this question were put with much force in the House by the hon. Member for Mayo on Monday night, but as I have said in reply to similar questions the conditions under which the trade between the two countries is necessarily carried on owing to their geographical position, appears to me to vitiate the analogy which he draws in the concluding parts of his question. The hon. Gentleman can gather from my reply to the hon. Member for East Limerick that I recognise that we have good reason to be confident that animals shipped from Munster and some other districts in Ireland, will show a clean bill of health on arrival, and it is on this view of the position that the Order issued yesterday, and that which I now have in contemplation with regard to store stock are based.