Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs, Accompanying the Annual Message of the President to the Second Session of the Fortieth Congress
Mr. Sanford to Mr. Seward.
Sir: The Moniteur of the 16th instant contains a letter of the minister of the interior to the King which, recalling the good effects of the rigorous measures in force here for the prevention and suppression of the cattle plague, recommends that all the regulations on the subject, and such others as experience has shown to be necessary to increase their efficiency, be collected in a single act. A royal decree to this effect follows, dated the 14th instant, and I enclose it together with the minister’s letter herewith in translation.
Should the cattle plague unhappily be introduced in the United States, this document will have practical value and can be consulted with profit.
The advantages of the system practiced by this government, as shown in the letter of Mr. Vandenpeereboom, are a striking contrast with the disastrous results which have followed in Holland the failure of the adoption of radical measures at the outset.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Home Department.–Cattle plague.–Report to the King.
Sire: Since the law of February 7, 1866, relative to contagious typhus, numerous measures have been taken, according to the necessities of the moment, to prevent the invasion and limit the progress of the cattle plague. If they have not succeeded in completely preserving the country, we may at least suppose that they have served to extenuate the ravages of the disease, since, from the month of August, 1865, the period of the first appearance of the plague, to the present day, the losses have amounted only to 2,300 head of cattle, a figure which scarcely exceeds that of the beasts carried off regularly by exudative pleuro-pneumonia in the same space of time.
These results must induce the government both to persist in the measures which have produced them, and to complete them in accordance with the wants revealed by experience. In order better to obtain this double object, I think it advisable, sire, to collect, in a single context, all the dispositions which have been taken hitherto in execution of the law of the 7th of February and those which is necessary to add thereunto, in order to increase their efficacy. Such is the object of the decree which I have the honor to submit to your Majesty, begging you, sire, to be pleased to give it your sanction.
Leopold II, King of the Belgians. To all present and to come, greeting :
Viewing the law of 7th February, 1866, relative to the measures to be taken against contagious typhus ;
Reviewing the royal decrees of 8th and 9th February, 10th March, 1st and 15th April, and 25th November, 1866, of 27th January, 3d and 8th February, 1867 ;
Considering that it is necessary to unite in a single context, and completing them, all the dispositions taken in execution of the law of 7th February, on the report of our minister of the interior ;
We have decreed and decree :
Section 1.—Prohibitions to entry and transit.
Article 1. Are prohibited—1. By the maritime frontier and the land frontiers of the north and east, from Knocke (West Flanders) to Athus, (Luxembourg,) the entry and transit of bovine cattle of every description, as well as of hides, meat, and other remains, in a fresh state, proceeding from such animals.[Page 624]
2. By the maritime frontier and land frontiers of the north and east, from the sea to Welke-maedt, (a province of Liege,) the entry and transit—
A. Of animals of the order of ruminantia other than bovine beasts and of swine, as well as of the hides, meat, and remains, in a fresh state, proceeding from such animals ;
B. Of straw, hay, and other fodder, dung, stable utensils having been employed, skin of bovine beasts, (other than dried hides,) hair, horns and end of horns, bones, even in a dry state, old clothes and rags, all coming from the Netherlands.
Section 2.—Census of cattle, etc.
Article 2. In the places designated by our minister of the interior the inhabitants are bound to declare to the burgomaster or his delegate, within a delay of five days, the number of bovine beasts of which they are the holders, and the time they have possessed each of them.
Article 3. At the request of the burgomaster or his delegate, an inventory shall be made, for the purpose of establishing the identity of every one of the bovine beasts declared in virtue of the preceding article. The cattle are, moreover, to be marked with a red-hot iron, with a mark to be determined by the burgomaster.
Article 4. The possessors or holders of bovine cattle are bound to declare, within a delay of twenty-four hours, to the burgomaster or his delegate, any change that may take place in their cattle in consequence of sale, death, or transfer, or at each new entry by purchase or otherwise, in order that it may be inscribed in the inventory.
Article 5. The said possessors or holders of bovine cattle are bound, between sunrise and sunset, to the census, examination, and justification of their cattle. Nevertheless, the census in stables can only take place with the authorization of the burgomaster, or by the order of the district commissary or the governor of the province.
Article 6. Until ulterior disposition, and independently of the special measures applicable to infected places or places threatened with contagion, no bovine beast may be conducted out of the territory of one of the places designated in virtue of Article II, nor be introduced, sold, or exchanged there, unless it be established by a certificate, delivered by the burgomaster of the place of departure or sojourn, and agreeably to the model prescribed, that the beast is healthy, and that the last holder possessed it in good health for a month at least.
Article 7. Every bovine beast found in the stables, pasture, or in any spot whatsoever in the territory of one of the aforesaid places, without its legal existence being justified * by the inventory or by a valid certificate, shall be seized and sequestered in an isolated spot during fifteen days, under the surveillance of the government veterinary surgeon, and at the expense of the owner. If the beast be suspected of being attacked by contagious typhus, or of having been introduced by fraud from a country where that disease prevails, it shall be killed without any indemnity, in conformity with the dispositions on the matter.
Article 8. The disposition of the second paragraph of the preceding article is applicable to animals of the order of ruminantia, other than bovine beasts, that shall be suspected of having been imported by fraud from an infected country.
Section 3.—Places infected with cattle plague.
Article 9. In places where contagious typhus prevails the entry and outgoing of bovine beasts and other animals of the order of ruminantia are prohibited.
If necessary this prohibition is extended also to other domestic animals, as well as to matters such as straw, dung, forage, &c, of a nature to propagate cattle plague. It may only be raised thirty days after the date of the last case of disease occurring in the place.
Article 10. The prohibition mentioned in the preceding article may be either restricted to a portion of the territory of the infected places, or extended wholly or partly to neighboring localities.
Article 11. The entry of butchery cattle intended for consumption may be authorized in such infected localities where the measure is judged necessary, on condition that the animals imported be killed within twenty-four hours.
In the cases provided for by the present disposition, as well as by those of section 2 of article 9 and article 10, our minister of the interior shall decide on the report of the governor of the province.
Article 12. Farms, stables, meadows, and other places where contagious typhus has made its appearance, must be isolated so as to prevent contagion.
It is forbidden to send out therefrom domestic animals, except horses that were there at the moment of the invasion of the cattle plague, and to export either remains proceeding from those animals, or straw, forage, dung, or any other matter calculated to propagate the disease.
Article 13. Under reserve of what is prescribed by article 9 hereabove, the disposition taken in virtue of article 12 may be repealed thirty days after the completion of all the sanitary operations, on the written order of the burgomaster of the locality.
Article 14. In places where contagious typhus has existed no bovine beasts or other [Page 625] animals belonging to the order of ruminantia may be introduced without the authorization of the governor of the province, and after a delay of forty-five days at least, reckoning from the last case of disease and the completion of the operations of disinfection.
Section 4.-—Fairs and markets.
Article 15. Until further enactment all rairs and markets are forbidden, the purpose of which is to exhibit for sale or to sell bovine beasts of all species.
Are excepted from the preceding disposition the fairs and markets lawfully established in the towns of Antwerp, Brussels, Louvani, Bruges, Courtrai, Ghent, Mons, Tournai, and Liege, with this reserve, that they be exclusively confined to the exhibiting for sale or the sale of fat cattle intended for consumption, the drivers of which are provided with a certificate of origin and health delivered by the burgomaster of the place they came from.
Article 16. Are assimilated to the fairs and markets prohibited by section 1 of the preceding disposition, gathering of cattle belonging to divers owners and collected for any purpose whatever, whether in public places, enclosures, stables, or sheds.
Article 17. The certificates mentioned in section 2 of article 13 hereabove are valid for a term of six days, reckoning from that of the holding of the market to which the cattle are conducted.
The animals which have been sold there must be killed and disposed of for consumption within the same delay.
Section 5.—Slaughtering of diseased or suspicious beasts.
Article 18. Bovine and ovine beasts attacked, or suspected of being attacked, by con tagious typhus are killed, on the report of the government veterinary surgeon establishing the existence of the disease.
The killing takes place—
1. For diseased animals, on the order of the burgomaster of the locality, the members of the agricultural committee, the district commissary, or the governor of the province.
2. For suspicious animals, on account of their contact or cohabitation with diseased cattle, on the order of the governor of the province.
3. The animals which, without having been in contact or having cohabited with infected beasts, may nevertheless be conssidered as suspicious, by reason of their dwelling close to a focus of contagion, and which on account of the circumstance it might be necessary to sacrifice, on the order of our minister of the interior.
Are assimilated to suspicious animals, as far as slaughtering is concerned, bovine or ovine beasts suspected of having been introduced by fraud from a country in which contagious typhus prevails, and seized as such, in virtue of the dispositions of the present decree.
Article 19. The slaughtering shall take place on the intervention of a police officer, and in presence of the government veterinary surgeon, in conformity with the royal decree of May 22, 1854, and the instructions of our minister of the interior, who shall likewise prescribe the rules to be followed for the interment or disposal for consumption of the slaughtered animals, and also for the cleansing of the stables.
Nevertheless it is undestood—
1. That the interment, both of dead beasts and of the diseased ones killed, shall take place according to the rules prescribed by article 6 of the decree of council of July 16, 1764, and by the circular of the 23d Messidor, of the year V.
2. That one may dispose for consumption only the meat proceeding from animals in which dissection shall have revealed the existence of none of the injuries produced by the disease.
3. That the operations of disinfection shall be performed at the expense of the owners, and by the intervention of the municipal authorities, under the direction of the government veterinary surgeon, who, if necessary, shall draw up a minute of the objects of which the destruction shall be considered necessary.
Article 20. An indemnity equivalent to two-thirds of the slaughtered animal is allotted to the owner—
1. When the latter has complied from the first appearance of the disease with the dispositions of articles 459 and following of the penal code, as also with the legal prescription in the matter of the sanitary police.
2. When he has had recourse to the intervention of the veterinary surgeon from the beginning of the disease.
3. When he does not fall under the application of articles 7 and 8 of the present decree.
4. When, during a month before the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease, he has possessed in a good state of health all those of his animals in which the existence of contagious typhus has been established.
Article 21. The value of the cattle in a healthy state is determined on his first visit by the government veterinary surgeon, and before the slaughtering, by two appraisers named and sworn by the burgomaster of the locality.
The average of the estimation of the appraisers, and of the veterinary surgeon, serves as basis for regulating the amount of the indemnity.[Page 626]
Nevertheless, the valuation may, if necessary, be submitted to revisai, agreeably to the prescriptions of section 2 of article 7 of the royal decree of May 22, 1854.
Article 22. The owners and holders of cattle are bound to let their beasts be examined by the veteriuary surgeons required for that purpose, either by the minister of the interior, or by one of the functionaries authorized in virtue of number 1 of article 18 to order the slaughter of diseased animals.
Article 23. It is forbidden, A, to kill, or cause to be killed, except in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the present decree, bovine beasts or other animals attacked, or suspected of being attacked, by contagious typhus.
B, To remove, carry away, or disinter, wholly or partly, and for any purpose whatever, corpses or remains of animals that have been attacked by contagious typhus, or contaminated objects, the destruction of which has been ordered in accordance with article 19 here-above, and with the instructions mentioned in the said article.
Section 6.—Quarantine imposed on cattle intended to be fattened.
Article 24. The dispositions of articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the present decree are applicable such as are employed in fattening cattle, distillers, sugar manufacturers, brewers, pasture growers, and others, whatever be the locality in which they exercise their industry.
In case a census shall have been already taken of their cattle, in accordance with the anterior prescriptions, the inventory shall be taken, in accordance with article 3 of the present decree, without the interested parties being bound to the previous declaration prescribed by article 2.
Article 25. No cattle may be introduced into stables or other places intended for fattening purposes, and united with beasts placed therein, unless they have been previously submitted to a quarantine of 15 days in an isolated place, attended to by a special staff, and agreed to by the burgomaster of the locality, in accordance with the instructions of our minister of the interior.
Article 26. The removal of cattle put in quarantine may only take place on written declaration of the government veterinary surgeon; attesting that they present no symptom of disease, and after being again marked with a red-hot iron. Mention thereof is made in the inventory.
Section 7.—Suspicious persons.
Article 27. Persons who have been in contact with cattle attacked by the cattle plague, or who have been in infected places, may not, before an interval of five days, enter stables or other places containing healthy cattle.
Are excepted from the present disposition, the agents who, in case of urgent necessity, have to perform a public duty, and who have taken all the precautions requisite, in order not to serve as a vehicle for contagion.
Article 28. Cattle dealers inhabiting or visiting countries in which the plague exists, are not allowed to exercise their trade in Belgium.
Article 29. Infractions against the dispositions of the present decree are punished with the penalties denounced by articles 3 and 4 of the law of February 7, 1866, independently of the measures to be taken, in virtue of the law of July 7, 1865, against foreigners who may violate the prohibition pronounced by articles 127 and 28.
Article 30. The dispositions taken previously in execution of the law of February 7, 1866, and contrary to the present decree, are revoked,
Article 31. Our minister of the interior is charged with carrying out the present decree.
Given at Brussels, March 14, 1867.
By the King :
Alp. Vandenpeereboom, Minister of Interior.
The minister of the interior, considering the law of February 7, 1866, relative to the measures to be taken against contagious typhus, and the royal decree of March 14, given in execution of the said law, decrees: Are submitted to the dispositions of articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the royal decree of March 14, given in execution of the law of February 7, 1866, all the localities in the provinces of Antwerp, Brabant, Liege, and Limbourg, as well as the localities in West Flanders and East Flanders, hereafter mentioned, viz :
1st. In West Flanders, the communes of Houcke, Knocke, Lapscheure, Moerbeke, West-capelle, and the portions of the communes of Damme and Ostkerke, situated to the north of the Zelgaete canal, and limited on the other hand by the right bank of the canal from Burges to Sluys.[Page 627]
2d. In East Flanders, the communes of Adegem, Apenede, Bapevelde, Bouchante, Doei, Calloo, Ertvelde, Kemseke, Kieldrecht, La Clinge, Waldegem, Meerdouck, Middelbourg, Moerbeke, St. May vente, St. Gille Waes, St. Jean in Eremo, St. Laurent, St. Paul, Selgaete, Stekene, Venebroek, Wachtebeke, Waterland, Ondeman, Watervliet, Wynkel, as well as the hamlet of Petit Sinay, of the commune of Sinay, and sections A and D of the commune of Yeacene.