§ Captain Soames
asked the Minister of Agriculture if, until the present outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been completely overcome, he will consider the desirability of taking steps to limit the use of footpaths and other rights of way. particularly in infected areas and whether, in particular, such action can be taken before the forthcoming Whitsuntide holidays.
§ Sir T. Dugdale
Power exists under the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Infected Areas Restrictions) Order of 1938 to close any footpath or right of way in an infected area, and the veterinary officers in charge of the local foot-and-mouth disease control centres decide which particular footpaths and rights of way150W should be closed. It is a punishable offence to ignore the notices that are put up when footpaths are closed.
I should not be justified in seeking power to close footpaths in other parts of the country, but people visiting the countryside at the present time will help to avoid the danger of spreading the disease if they keep to footpaths, and avoid crossing or entering fields in which stock are kept whenever they can. Appeals to this effect have been broadcast by the B.B.C., and I shall be asking them to make further appeals before the Whitsun holidays?