§ 14. Mr. C. BATHURST
asked whether, in the opinion of his expert advisers, inoculation of cows and heifers, prior to gestation, with live bacilli or, during gestation, with dead bacilli, is an effective preventative of contagious abortion; and what steps, if any, are being taken by the Board to check the further spread of this disease, which is seriously prevalent in Cornwall, Devon, and other counties?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
It necessarily takes a long time to test thoroughly the efficacy of the processes to which the hon. Member refers, and I am not in a position at present to say more than that the results of the experiments up to date are encouraging. As the hon. Member is probably aware, a suggestion by the Board that a general Order should be issued on the lines recommended by the Departmental Committee on Epizootic Abortion was not received with favour by agriculturists as a whole, and, pending the result of further scientific investigation, the Board did not consider themselves justified in forcing it upon them. In Devon, however, the proposal was accepted by the county council, and an Order has been in force for just over a year. The Board are quite prepared to apply a similar Order to any other county if evidence that it would be acceptable is forthcoming.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
In view of the fact that this epizootic abortion is having very serious consequences amongst cattle in Cornwall, can the right hon. Gentleman persuade the Cornish County Council to adopt a similar method?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
There have been communications with the Cornish County 12 Council, but unless the Order is likely to be acceptable to the agriculturists in Cornwall I do not at present see my way to force it upon them.