asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that the 60-mile limit of travel from the port of entry of cattle exported from the United Kingdom is causing hardship, especially to many small farmers; and what steps he will take to alleviate this.
While it is estimated that the numbers of cattle for slaughter being exported at present are lower than they were this time last year, the average domestic prices realised for steers and heifers this year have been higher than those in the corresponding periods last year. The home prices of cows tend to fall at this season, but are much the sane this year as they were last.
Is there any consistency whatever in a rule like this, because cattle often have to travel more than 60 miles in this country? Cattle which are travelling must be watered at least every twelve hours. Surely it ought to be possible to arrange for that to be done on the Continent.
The Balfour Committee went into the matter very thoroughly, and it was largely as a result of its recommendations that these restrictions were imposed. We have tried to deal with the position fairly from the point of view of both the cruelty aspect and the position of home farmers, and I hope that in some respects we have succeeded.