I beg to ask the hon. Member for South Somerset, as representing the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether, seeing the loss which is now borne by breeders and butchers through the frequent slaughtering of fat cattle on account of disease, he can see his way to recommend substantial compensation for them, and also a uniform system of inspection of meat by qualified men.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. JOHN BURNS,) Battersea
My hon. friend has asked me to reply to this Question. I presume that the disease referred to in it is tuberculosis. If so, I would point out that the slaughter of animals suffering therefrom is seldom effected at the instance of local authorities. Their duties are in the main confined to the examination and seizure of unsound meat intended for the food of man, and hence they do not commonly arise until after the animal has been slaughtered. I cannot make any promise with regard to compensation, but I may state that the Local Government Board have issued more than one circular with a view of securing uniformity in the methods of inspection and seizure of meat, and they believe that the views expressed in those circulars are usually acted upon by local authorities.