asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that after the slaughter at Wellington, Durham, of three beasts affected by foot-and-mouth disease belonging to the cooperative society, the head, feet, and offal were destroyed and the remaining parts were certified fit for human consumption and sent into another district for the purpose; whether he is aware that at Denaby and Mexborough, South Yorkshire, two butchers who killed beasts which had only been in contact were compelled to destroy the whole carcases at financial loss to themselves; and if he is prepared, under these circumstances, to indemnify them for the loss sustained?
I have been asked to reply. The decision as to whether carcases of slaughtered animals are fit for human consumption lies with the medical officer of health for the district. With regard to the last part of the question, the Ministry has no power to grant compensation in the case of animals whose slaughter was not ordered by the Ministry.
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can indicate how long it will be before the Ashford cattle market is opened again for the sales *of store stock, provided there are no fresh outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the neighbourhood; and is he aware that the present restrictions are causing the slaughter of a large number of calves and young pigs which should be kept for rearing and fattening?
I have been asked to reply. Ashford cattle market is situated near premises on which an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease occurred about a fortnight ago. I* am therefore unable to give any indication as to when it will be possible to re-open this market for the sale of store cattle. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative. The Ministry bas, however, issued an Order under which farm sales are authorised under certain conditions, and this, I hope, will afford some relief generally.
I have been asked to reply. It is proposed to set up a Departmental Committee whose terms of reference will be:
To inquire into the origin and circumstances of the recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and into the policy and procedure which was pursued in dealing with the disease, and to report whether any alteration of the methods of administrative control hitherto adopted or any amendment of the existing law is necessary or desirable.