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Army—Glanders At Leeds Barracks—The 12Th Lancers

Volume 217: debated on Monday 14 July 1873

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asked the Surveyor General of the Ordnance (in the absence of the Secretary of State for War,) Whether glanders has broken out amongst the horses of the 12 Lancers at Leeds Barracks; whether five or more horses have been shot for that disease; and, if this is the ease, whether it is still intended to send the regiment to Cannock Chase for the Autumn Manœuvres?

asked the Secretary of State for War, How many Commanding Officers of the six Cavalry Regiments attached respectively to the Northern and Southern Armies at the last Autumn Manœuvres reported 'horse blankets to be unnecessary; whether the 12th Lancers was not the only regiment which was unprovided with blankets last year; whether it is not admitted by experienced Veterinary Surgeons that glanders, of which abscess in the lungs is one of the chief characteristics, is frequently produced by exposure to clamp and cold after fatigue; and, whether he will reconsider his decision not to supply blankets or other protection against the weather to the Cavalry horses at a period of the year when many of them are changing their coats, and consequently more liable to cold and disease?

Sir, the officer commanding the 12th Lancers reported to the Adjutant General on the 19th of June that five horses had been destroyed for glanders. A letter received from that officer on the 8th instant, shows that no further symptoms of the disease have appeared. Under these circumstances, there is no intention at present of withdrawing them from the list of regiments for the Autumn Manœuvres. In reply to the Question of the hon. and gallant Colonel the Member for Mid Cheshire (Colonel Leigh), I have to state that the commanding officers in question did not report officially one way or the other whether horse-blankets were considered necessary, nor were they asked to do so. The opinion of cavalry officers has, however, been obtained, and the result shows, as stated in the answer which I gave to the hon. and gallant Gentleman on the 30th ultimo, that they are in favour of the non-issue of these articles, as in consequence the extra kit which was carried in the valise last year on the horse will now be carried in the waggons, the dragoon carrying a very light kit on his horse's back. The 12th Lancers was the only regiment which did not use horse-blankets last year, and their horses looked quite as well as the rest of the cavalry. The Manœuvres, too, are held earlier this year, which makes a difference in the weather likely to be met with. No report that I am aware of has been received from experienced veterinary surgeons that the non-issue of horse-blankets is calculated to produce glanders, and the principal veterinary surgeon, on the contrary, has concurred in this non-issue. It has consequently been held unnecessary to alter the decision which has been arrived at.