§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture how many cases of canine hydrophobia have been reported in the Metropolitan district during the last six months; and whether there is any chance of the muzzling order being repealed or relaxed?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE (Mr. WALTER LONG, Liverpool, West Derby)
Twelve cases of rabies have been reported in the County of London and 22 in the five home counties during the last six months. I am informed that the Public Control Committee of the London County Council propose that the present muzzling regulations should now be so far relaxed as to give exemption to dogs under proper control, and wearing a collar bearing the name and address of the owner. In this connection, I may perhaps be allowed to point out, however, that it will be necessary for the whole subject to be further considered in the light of the report of the committee which has been sitting for some time past to inquire into the working of the laws relating to dogs. I understand that the committee propose that a determined effort should now be made to rid the country of rabies once and for all. If this could be accomplished, the necessity for the issue of intermittent muzzling regulations by particular local authorities would disappear. I am under the impression that the owners of dogs and the public generally would support a well-considered scheme which promised to secure the complete extirpation of rabies in these islands—a result which is never likely to be secured under the existing system.