asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in connection with the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Devonshire, any Reports have been made to him of the danger that the Ministry's inspectors themselves may spread infection by not changing or disinfecting their clothing as well as their boots when moving from an infected into a non-infected area; if not, whether he will cause an investigation to be made into the point; and whether the Ministry is still convinced that the present system of wholesale slaughter of supposedly affected animals is preferable to a policy of isolation?
The answer to the first part is in the negative. Every inspector of the Ministry is required to wear special waterproof overall clothing when engaged on foot-and-mouth disease1410W duties, and to disinfect the whole of his clothing and his hands at the time of entering and leaving premises. Experience proves that the precautions are adequate, and I am satisfied that the inspectors do not spread disease. With the support of the Departmental Committees of 1922 and 1924, the Ministry considers that the policy of slaughtering animals affected with foot-and-mouth disease and exposed to infection is the only policy which, with the existing knowledge of the disease, will be successful in preventing it from becoming endemic in this country.
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is in a position to give any information as to the suspected source of infection which has caused the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Devon?
The first animals affected in the series of outbreaks which have recently occurred in the neighbourhood of Plymouth were pigs which had been fed on swill, containing scraps of meat of foreign origin. The swill had not been boiled in accordance with the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Boiling of Animal Foodstuffs) Order, 1928, which makes it an offence to bring any meat. bones or offals into contact with animals or to feed them to animals until the materials have been boiled. Although investigation has failed to find a more probable means by which infection was introduced in this case, I would point out that in the majority of outbreaks which occur in this country swill has not been taken on the farms.