HC Deb 23 February 1914 vol 58 cc1416-8W

asked the Vice-President of the Board of Agriculture (Ireland) whether his attention has been called to a resolution passed by the Galway County Council, at a meeting held on the 18th February, stating that the county council of Galway, considering the grave and serious consequences following the reported outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Ireland, and contemplating the mysterious manner in which reported attacks appear, recommend the Minister of Agriculture to have immediately appointed a Commission consisting of three scientific experts qualified on diseases of cattle, sheep, and pigs, and four other men practically interested in the cattle, sheep, and pig trade of Ireland, the Commission of seven members thus appointed to be given power to summon witnesses to give evidence (and invite all other evidence) on the origin of reported outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Ireland for the last twenty months, and find in their Report if the disease was really foot-and-mouth; if reported attacks were virulent; if they were mild, would affected animals recover in a couple of weeks; if they would fatten after recovery; if flesh and milk would be safe for human consumption; if the disease was foreign; and, if so, if it was brought into the country by imported fodder; and, if not, by what other means; and whether, in view of the manner in which the national industry of Ireland is paralysed at the present time, he will take steps to give effect to the resolution?


I have received a copy of the resolution referred to. I have written to the Galway County Council to the effect that information is available on all the heads of the proposed inquiry save that of the origin of the disease; that this latter point is really a matter for scientific investigation; that a Commission, upon which Ireland is represented, is at present inquiring into the subject; and that, in all the circumstances, I do not see any reason for instituting an inquiry on the lines suggested.


asked the Vicc-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) whether the vessels which import cattle from Ireland into this country are completely disinfected before they leave the British port on their return journey to Ireland; and are the ships inspected before the cattle are put on board in Ireland before being exported?


The Orders governing the transit of animals from Ireland to Great Britain require that on every occasion when a vessel is used for this purpose it shall be cleansed and disinfected in a prescribed and thorough manner after the landing of animals therefrom and before the taking on board of any other animal or other cargo. All such vessels are inspected in Ireland to see that the disinfection process has been properly carried out before animals are again put on board.