38. Captain MURRAY
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that discontent prevails in agricultural circles in respect of the difference of opinion that often exists between the veterinary inspectors of the local authority and the Board of Agriculture, respectively, in the diagnosis in cases of suspected anthrax; and whether, in view of the fact that a farmer runs the risk of losing an animal from suspected anthrax and afterwards of losing the insurance money should the inspector appointed by the Board decide that it is not a case of anthrax, he will consider the advisability of so modifying the existing system as to prevent cases of hardship of this description?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Runciman)
Great care is exercised by the veterinary staff at the Board's laboratory in the investigation of cases of suspected anthrax, and, in view of their wider experience and the facilities at their disposal, they are in a better position to make a diagnosis of the disease than are the veterinary inspectors of local authorities. As at present advised, I am not prepared to modify the provisions of the Anthrax Order of 1910.
May I ask whether it is not possible that if there is any other micro-organism present it may overgrow and destroy the anthrax culture before the Board's diagnosis takes place?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I am advised by my experts that there is no serious risk of that if the specimens are sent up quickly, as they ought to be.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the bacillus of anthrax is the most persistent bacillus known to-day?