MR. O'KEEFFE (Limerick)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if it is a fact that at the Liverpool abattoirs a fortnight since certain English dairy cows, although having passed the market inspector at Stanley Market, were, after being slaughtered, seized by the meat market inspector; if Irish cattle run a similar risk of being seized after sale and slaughter, although being certified as sound by veterinary surgeon inspectors at shipping ports and on their arrival in England; and, if such should arise, who will compensate the exporters for their losses?
§ * THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE, Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
I have been in communication with the Corporation of Liverpool on the subject of the question of the hon. Member, and I am informed that it is the fact that certain dairy cows from the Stanley Market were, after being slaughtered, seized by the meat inspector as being unfit for human food. The market inspector at Stanley Market examines for contagious diseases only under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts, and the cows in question were not suffering from contagious disease, and consequently were not interfered with by the inspector at Stanley Market. Irish cattle run a similar risk of being seized after sale and slaughter if they are found to be unfit for human food and are exposed or deposited for sale. It is not the duty of the veterinary surgeon inspector to certify cattle as being sound; but he passes all that are free from contagious disease. Exporters receive no compensation for their loss 540 when meat is condemned on the ground of its being unfit for human food. On the contrary, those who expose for sale for human food meat of this character are, under the Public Health Act, liable to heavy penalties.