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ANTHRAX AT S Ki A CII. 1 I FAILURE TO NOTIFY. I FARMER FINED I The Broxton magistrates, of whom Mr. J. Howard was the chairman, bad before thew on Tuesday, a summons against George Brassey, farmer, hock- lacl], for failing to report to the police the exist- ence of anthrax on his premises. Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, was represented by Air. E. Brassey, Chester. Police-Sergt. Howard said that at 12.50 on .Monday, December 7ui, he visited the premises oi .11r. tJrassey, and lound hanging 111 a smppon a careae-s of a bail, partly dressed for sale, v.ith hide and head taken off. A mail was Cleaning 11 at the time. Witness examined it and found that tiie liesh was very darn., and there were streaks of blood on tne rat. He could see it was not properly bied. Mr. Brassey was not at home. YY ltness asked for the spleen, and alter a search it was lound in a hole m tiie garden. it was rotten, and he was suspicious that it was diseased with anthrax, lie called in Air. Barnes, veter- inary inspector, and he certified that the annual was suffering from anthrax. Witness saw Mr. Brassey the next day, and told him that the animal had been attacked by aiilirux. Lie said he was sorry, and tnat tie intended to get some- one to look at it before sending it away. The animai was subsequently cremated. Mr. E. Brassey: ou did not know it was anthrax W itness N o, sir. It was first found to be anthrax when Air. Barnes examined it. Air. Brassey: 1 do not understand where the county is damaged You take possession of the carcass and your idea is that the latnier must make a formal report in addition to that. Tne Chairman: What are tne bye-laws?—Supt. Hicks: Section 1 says tnat the owner is bound to report anthrax, and section 17 directs tnat he will be presumed to know that the carcass is diseased. it docs not relieve him from responsibility. Witness: 1 may say that Mr. Brassey has ren- dered me all assistance. Henry Barnes, veterinary inspector, said he was called in to Mr. Brassey s farm on December 7th to inspect a carcass of beef. He saw that it was hung up partly diesscd for market. The flesh was very highly coloured. The animal had been 'i' l ic aii i-ra l had be(,ii a bull, and the flesh of bulls was as a rule very highly coloured. There were a few streaks ol blood on the fat. The beef was well set and in good form for the market. lie went down to the garden to inspect the viscera, which lie noticed were inflamed. He was not then satisfied that the case was one of anthrax. The same evening he examined a portion of the flesh under the microscope. lie then found anthrax bacilli. The Chairman Did you inquire what had been the condition of the animal for any time previously ? —Witness They told me it had been fed for the Cbiistmi-s market. _'h The Chairman How long had it been killed ?— Witness: I could not say. It was cremated the following day. Mr. T. M. L. Vernon (a magistrate): Was the beast in good condition ?—Witness Very good con- dition. except for the anthrax. Mr. Brassey What is the poor farmer to do ? Is he to buy a microscope before he can tell whether the beast has got anthrax ?—Witness I could not say that. Mr. Brassey Does it not seem to be rather hard that the farmer should be supposed to know a case of anthrax, when even you did not know it was anthrax without the aid of the microscope ?-\Vit ness Yes, I could not have certified it to be anthrax by simply looking at it, without the microscope. Mr. Brassey Is this the first case in the district? —Witness The first for about two or three years.- Mr. Barnes added that the animal was worth about i;20 Mr. Evan Langley: What guide would the farmer have?—Witness: I could not say there would be any guide at all. Mr. Langley There is no guide whether it would be anthrax or not?—Witness: Not if it was the first case. The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. Hy. Taylor) Is the disease highly contagious?—Witness Yes. Air. J^angiey lJId you require a very powerful microscope ?- \Vitness Yes, very powerful. Con- tinuing, Mr. Barnes said he was told that the beast had been turned out to water at the middle of the day, ami was quite well. It died within a few hours after being taken back.. Suot. Hicks said the police should be notified of all cases of sudden death of animals. Addressing the Bench for the defence, Mr. Brassey said he thought it rather an unwarrantable supposition that the owners were bound to report every case of sudden death to the police. He would like the Bench to consider the great loss and trouble the case had caused defendant. In the first place he had lost a buii value £ 20. Secondly, he had lost a cow value £ 17 or E18. He farmed 150 acres, and his premises had been closed for three weeks, and thereby lie had lost JMO through not being able to sell his milk. Alto- gether he had lost £ 50 in that way before the case had come before the court. It was a good thing that suc h a case should be brought forward, because it shewed the amount of loss which a farmer incurred and the necessity for some regulation under which a farmer could be compensated for losses of that character. It was a hard thing for a man to be tined for what lie knew nothing about. Understood that the leaflet of the Board of Agriculture gave a quantity of detail in reference to tbe wy in which anthrax ,.oould be discovered. None of the symptoms mentioned were shewn by defendant's bull. About four o'clock on Sunday afternoon a man -came in and said a bull was bad. Defendant thought that as the bull was being fattened for a sale in January it had been attacked, by heart iblane. He sent for a butcher and talked the mat- ter over with him. It was decided to kill the •beest that night The entrails and other things weie preserved so that they might bo examined in order to see if the animai was fit fer food. The nrxt day. as tho butcher was on his way to the farm, he heard that the pelice> had been there and taken possession, EO that he thought it was unneces- sary to go there. There was no intention to sell the animal until it had been properly inspected. Defendant, then gave, evidence coafirmng 11r. E. iirassey s statement. In .reply to his solicitor he said he had never seen a. case of antmax. The .urst notification he had that it b?d been att&eked by anthrax was from the j»oboe sergeant. He had had another caso a week afterwards. Supt. Hicks Two pigs had died, and when they j »ere examined signs of anthrax were found on them. Thomas Lewis, butchej", .Shocklach, corroborated as to examining tlit- bewt, He thought the aaiimal was attacked by heart blajie. The Chairman said tho police had done their duty. They could not have done less. At the same time tho Bench sympathised with Mr. Bras- sey, because it was no doubt a very great loss. In the face of the Act it was impossible for the Bench to do otherwise than inflict a penalty. The Act said the farmer should be presumed to know the disease, unless he proved his ignorance De- fendant would have to pay 20s. and costs. It must be known that. the moment an animal was taken ill it was the best course, and the proper course, and the only legal course, to report the ctse to the police or a veterinary surgeon. Supvt. Hicks: It is far better for ail stock- owners that such cases should be notified. The Act was passed in the interests of farmers.