§ Mr. DELANY
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether the report that heads taken from cattle suffering from foot-and-mouth disease, as alleged, were recently sent from Waterford to Liverpool, is true?
§ Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, Ireland)
No, Sir. The question is now the subject of special investigation.
§ Mr. DELANY
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether he is aware of the consignments of hay lying at Waterford awaiting shipment to this country from Queen's County, where no foot-and-mouth disease has existed for the past twenty-nine years; and whether he will represent to the Agricultural Board in this country the advisability of withdrawing the prohibition against the importation of hay from districts in Ireland which are and have been free from cattle disease for nearly thirty years?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
The Department will make representations in the direction suggested as soon as the situation in Ireland as regards foot-and-mouth disease admits of their doing so.417W
§ Mr. LARDNER
asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland), what the effect of the Diseases of Animals Act is in reference to the removal of dead swine in Ireland; is he aware that several of the dead pork markets in the North of Ireland have been seriously prejudiced by the action of the Royal Irish Constabulary in certain districts interfering with the owners of swine and preventing the removal of the carcasses to market; whether he will furnish a copy of the instructions issued by his Department to the Royal Irish Constabulary; and will he at once take steps to have the police instructed as to their rights and duties in such cases?
§ Mr. RUSSELL
Under the Diseases of Animals Act the Department have power to prohibit or regulate all movement of carcasses of swine or other animals. They only think it necessary, however, in present circumstances that the police, as a measure of precaution, should exercise, a discretion in regard to carcasses of animals authorised for slaughter which are in transit within or from the scheduled area, exclusive of infected places, so as to be able to report with a view to veterinary inspection in cases where they consider they have reasonable grounds for suspecting existence of disease. This procedure need not involve any serious inconvenience where no such grounds exist; and it is the least inconvenient course which could be adopted. The Department have confidence in the discretion as well as zeal of the police in this matter, who have throughout been giving them the most valuable assistance in dealing with the difficult situation which has arisen in connection with Foot-and-Mouth Disease.