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4-10 JUBILEE NUMBER. FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE: A PREFATORY NOTE As a preface to the two short articles on original research specially contributed to this number by the whole-time workers of the present Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Committee, of which, until 1937, he has been a member since it (the third scientific committee) was appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1924, the following editorial published by Sir John M'Fadyean in this journal in 1892 is reproduced. It depicts the stand which he took early in its pages and has since consistently and vigorously taken in many other ways during his career, and in especial degree in collaboration with the late Sir Stewart Stockman, in support of the current national policy for dealing with the disease. He was the leader of the first small scientific Committee of the Ministry which proceeded in 1912 to investigate the characteristics of the disease in India, the object being at that time to avoid experimentation in this country. "After a period of six months' active work it was considered inadvisable to continue investigation as it was found that the indigenous cattle, sheep, and pigs of the plains of India were in a high degree insusceptible to the disease and were therefore unsuited for experimental work." (See this journal, 1915, 28, 91-96.) The researches of Lomer and Frosch upon the aetiology of this disease, the first animal disease proved to be caused by a filterable virus, were brought to the notice of British workers in a very full summary in this journal in 1899 (Vol. 12, 79-95). The second animal disease proved to be due to a virus was, as is well known, South African horse-sickness (in WOO, by Sir John M'Fadyean). The official researches upon another virus disease, namely, swine fever, and the policies adopted for dealing with it have also been largely determined under his guidance. THE RECENT INVASION OF FOOT-AND-MoUTH DISEASE. In an earlier number of this volume (1892, Vol. 5) we called attention to the magnificent triumph which the Board of Agriculture had achieved in the struggle waged with pleuro-pneumonia, and devoted some space to an analysis of the factors that had contributed to the victory. At that time, it is true, the disease had not been absolutely exterminated, but it had been so far suppressed as to render it certain that, under a continuance of the same policy, we should soon see the last case of it. This anticipation has been realised. During the third quarter of this year [1892], there were only six outbreaks; and, if we except the cases in imported Canadian cattle, no instance of the disease has been reported since the I st of October. An equally great-indeed, in some respects a greater-victory has crowned the efforts of the Board to deal with the recent invasion of foot-and-mouth disease. After an absence of 5 years from our shores, that plague, in some as yet unexplained manner, made its appearance in London in the first week of February last, and before the end of the month it had spread to Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Midlothian. During that month there Were in all 24 outbreaks, the number of animals attacked being liOO. Notwithstanding the efforts made to cope with it, the disease continued to spread during the month of March. In that month there Were 29 fresh outbreaks, distributed over the counties of Middlesex, Sussex. York, Lanark, Westmorland, Renfrew, Chester and Perth, and the number of animals attacked had risen to 1,765. At that time there were probably few so sanguine as to expect that the country could by any reasonable measures be saved from a repetition of the losses caused by this disease during the early years of the last decade. Fortunately, however, the month of April showed that the measures put in force Were beginning to get the upper hand, for during that period there were only 20 outbreaks, though the number of animals attacked had risen to 2,423. During May, the number of outbreaks fell to eight, and the number of animals attacked to 3fi5, and in June there were only six outbreaks and 117 animals attacked. No fresh outbreaks were reported during the month of July, but anxiety was again created by a reappearance of the disease in Midlothian in August. Fortunately, the

Foot-And-Mouth Disease: A Prefatory Note

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4-10 JUBILEE NUMBER.

FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE: A PREFATORY NOTE

As a preface to the two short articles on original research specially contributedto this number by the whole-time workers of the present Foot-and-MouthDisease Research Committee, of which, until 1937, he has been a member sinceit (the third scientific committee) was appointed by the Ministry of Agricultureand Fisheries in 1924, the following editorial published by Sir John M'Fadyeanin this journal in 1892 is reproduced. It depicts the stand which he tookearly in its pages and has since consistently and vigorously taken in manyother ways during his career, and in especial degree in collaboration withthe late Sir Stewart Stockman, in support of the current national policy fordealing with the disease. He was the leader of the first small scientificCommittee of the Ministry which proceeded in 1912 to investigate thecharacteristics of the disease in India, the object being at that time to avoidexperimentation in this country. "After a period of six months' activework it was considered inadvisable to continue investigation as it was foundthat the indigenous cattle, sheep, and pigs of the plains of India were in ahigh degree insusceptible to the disease and were therefore unsuited forexperimental work." (See this journal, 1915, 28, 91-96.) The researchesof Lomer and Frosch upon the aetiology of this disease, the first animal diseaseproved to be caused by a filterable virus, were brought to the notice of Britishworkers in a very full summary in this journal in 1899 (Vol. 12, 79-95).The second animal disease proved to be due to a virus was, as is well known,South African horse-sickness (in WOO, by Sir John M'Fadyean). Theofficial researches upon another virus disease, namely, swine fever, and thepolicies adopted for dealing with it have also been largely determined underhis guidance.

THE RECENT INVASION OF FOOT-AND-MoUTH DISEASE.

In an earlier number of this volume (1892, Vol. 5) we called attention to themagnificent triumph which the Board of Agriculture had achieved in the strugglewaged with pleuro-pneumonia, and devoted some space to an analysis of the factorsthat had contributed to the victory. At that time, it is true, the disease had not beenabsolutely exterminated, but it had been so far suppressed as to render it certain that,under a continuance of the same policy, we should soon see the last case of it. Thisanticipation has been realised. During the third quarter of this year [1892], therewere only six outbreaks; and, if we except the cases in imported Canadian cattle,no instance of the disease has been reported since the I st of October.

An equally great-indeed, in some respects a greater-victory has crowned theefforts of the Board to deal with the recent invasion of foot-and-mouth disease. Afteran absence of 5 years from our shores, that plague, in some as yet unexplainedmanner, made its appearance in London in the first week of February last, and beforethe end of the month it had spread to Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Midlothian. Duringthat month there Were in all 24 outbreaks, the number of animals attacked being liOO.

Notwithstanding the efforts made to cope with it, the disease continued to spreadduring the month of March. In that month there Were 29 fresh outbreaks, distributedover the counties of Middlesex, Sussex. York, Lanark, Westmorland, Renfrew,Chester and Perth, and the number of animals attacked had risen to 1,765. At thattime there were probably few so sanguine as to expect that the country could by anyreasonable measures be saved from a repetition of the losses caused by this diseaseduring the early years of the last decade. Fortunately, however, the month of Aprilshowed that the measures put in force Were beginning to get the upper hand, forduring that period there were only 20 outbreaks, though the number of animalsattacked had risen to 2,423.

During May, the number of outbreaks fell to eight, and the number of animalsattacked to 3fi5, and in June there were only six outbreaks and 117 animals attacked.No fresh outbreaks were reported during the month of July, but anxiety was againcreated by a reappearance of the disease in Midlothian in August. Fortunately, the

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measures taken to prevent its spread from the premises in which it existed therewere successful, and by the end of August stock-owners could again breathe freely andcongratulate themselves that the country was once more free from a disease which hadthreatened to exact a heavy tax before its disappearance.

The history of the recent outbreak furnishes another proof of the wisdom ofvesting the powers to deal with such animal plagues in one central authority, for noone can doubt that had local authorities been left to cope with the invasion theirefforts would have been as abortive as thev were on the last occasion of the same kind.The credit of the recent victory is due in equal degree to the veterinary officers of theBoard of Agriculture, who advised the measures that have proved so successful, andto the President of the Board, who is responsible for the inflexible manner in whichthese measures were carried out.

It may be said that what has been done once can, in similar circumstances, bedone again, and that there is little reason to fear that foot-and-mouth disease willever again overrun this country as it did between 1877 and 1K85. But it must notbe forgotten that the policy of the Board of Agriculture in dealing with the recentinvasion was vigorously assailed on the very point that in all probability was mostessential to success, and that on another occasion the President of the Board mightprove less unyielding. We allude to the effort that was made to discredit the aCtlonof the Board in declaring large infected areas. Had effect been given to the repre­sentations that were made on that point by certain local authorities, there is littleroom to doubt that the disease would have defied all attempts to hold it in check,just as it has done and is now doing in several continental states. The recent experi­ence has proved that foot-and-mouth disease, notwithstanding its highly infectiousnature, can be stamped out even when it has attained a fair start of suppressivemeasures, but the risk of failure is so obvious as to make it desirable to take everypossible precaution to guard against a re-introduction of the disease. Until recentlyit was generally supposed that there was little or no danger of the disease beingbrought to this country so long as the importation of live animals was prohibited fromcountries in which the disease was known to exist, but the circumstances connectedwith the appearance of the disease in London and Edinburgh in February last, andmore recently in Denmark, lend some colour to the suggestion that the before­mentioned precaution is insufficient, and that the contagium of the affection may beindirectly conveyed from one country to another in imported articles such as hay orhides.

The Board of Agriculture has proved itself a true Institute of Preventive Medicine;it has set an example which other countries would do well to follow, and in its ownsuccess it has the best encouragement to enter upon a struggle with some of theremaining animal plagues.