§ MR. H. HOARE (Cambridge, Chesterton)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the cases of anthrax that have appeared among Mr. T. W. Russell's horses at Litlington, in Cambridgeshire; whether he is aware that 600 tons of the very best manure, worth 6s. a ton, were ordered by the Local Authority to be disinfected by being well mixed with hot lime; whether, as that process has destroyed its manorial value, there are any funds available out of which some compensation could be paid for the loss inflicted on Mr. Russell by the action of the Local Authority; whether he is aware that, in addition, Mr. Russell has lost nine horses from anthrax; and whether, since in some of these cases their deaths may have been due to the action of the authority in closing the premises, there are any means by which some compensation may be paid to him for his loss as well as for the expense lo which he was put by the closing of his premises?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. H. GARDNER,) Essex, Saffron Walden
I have been in communication with the Local Authority regarding this matter, and I am informed that on their becoming aware that anthrax had broken out on Mr. Russell's premises, and that that gentleman had already lost nine horses from the disease, steps were at once taken to cleanse and disinfect the premises in pursuance of Article 11 of the Anthrax Order of 1892. It was necessary to treat some 400 tons or more of manure with quick lime; but whether the result was the loss stated in the question I am not aide to say. There is no reason to suppose that the deaths of the horses were in any way due to the action of the Local Authority, inasmuch as they occurred prior to such action being taken. With regard to the question of compensation, I have to say that although I much regret that Mr. Russell should have suffered so severe a loss by reason of the outbreak of disease on his premises there exists no power under the statute under which he could be awarded compensation either for the animals dying of disease, or for any loss occasioned by the cleansing and disinfection of the premises. I may add that although the nine horses died at 1023 intervals between the end of March and the 27th July, no notice was given to the Local Inspector until the 26th July.