§ MR. C. S. READ
asked the Vice President of the Council, If his attention has been directed to the prevalence of foot and mouth disease in the Metropolitan Cattle Market, where over one hundred cattle so diseased were certified by competent veterinary surgeons to have been exposed for sale upon four consecutive Mondays, and also to a case at Norwich, in which a Norfolk dealer was fined £50 and £8 4s. costs for exposing twenty-five sheep affected with foot and mouth disease on Norwich Hill; and, whether he will reconsider the expediency of maintaining the present regulations under which the district authority rigorously enforces the penalties under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, while the foot and mouth disease, as well as sheep scab, exists in the Metropolitan Market, and is from thence taken to all parts of the Kingdom?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
, in reply, said, the Department had received a letter stating that it was the impression of certain veterinary surgeons that foot and mouth disease had prevailed in the Metropolitan Cattle Market. On inquiry, the local authority of the Metropolitan Market, which was the Board of Works, stated, through their Inspector, that they could not ascertain that the statement was correct. He was inclined to believe they were right in their opinion. As regarded the Norwich case, he understood that certain persons had been prosecuted, and he was glad to find that the authorities at Norwich were determined to put the Act in force. It was not the duty of the Department but of the local authority to put the Act in force. The Department had reason to believe that in London the local authorities were doing all in their power in the matter. The Metropolitan Board of Works had instructed their solicitor to act in the matter, their Inspectors to make inquiries and be vigilant, and the police would be directed to assist them. Since the 1st of January 359 cattle and five sheep had been seized and slaughtered. The hon. Gentleman asked him to "reconsider the expediency of maintaining the present regulations, under which the district authority rigorously enforces the penal- 1368 ties under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, while the foot and mouth disease, as well as sheep scab, existed in the Metropolitan Market, and was from thence taken to all parts of the kingdom." The regulations in the Act he was bound to enforce, and he believed there was a very general desire in all parts of England to enforce them and to stamp out the disease, whenever it was found out. But any attempt to do so by renewing the cordon, would, be believed, meet with strong opposition. He trusted the local authorities would put the Act in force to stop the exposure of animals having the foot and mouth disease, to prevent the movement of such animals, and especially to disinfect the markets where they had been.
§ MR. C. S. READ
, in consequence of the unsatisfactory answer he had received, begged to give Notice that early next Session he would move for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the operation of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act, and the constitution of the Veterinary Department of the Privy Council.