HC Deb 28 March 1895 vol 32 cc330-1
MR. H. T. ANSTRUTHER (St. Andrews Burghs)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture, whether auctioneers who have erected cattle-weighing machines within their auction marts are bound to issue to the seller or buyer a ticket specifying the true weight of the cattle weighed; whether a ticket which does not give the odd pounds, if any, sufficiently specifies the true weight; and, whether the Board of Agriculture will issue a Memorandum directing the attention of auctioneers to the duties which the Weighing of Cattle Acts, 1887 and 1891, require them to perform; and, if auctioneers fail to perform these duties, what steps can be taken by farmers to compel auctioneers to give them the facilities conferred by the Statutes in question.


An auctioneer cannot, unless specially exempted, sell cattle at any mart where cattle are habitually or periodically sold, unless weighing accommodation is provided, and a proper person appointed to have charge of the machine. If that person refuses or neglects to weigh cattle, when required, or to deliver to the seller or buyer a ticket specifying the true weight of the cattle, he is liable to a penalty. There is no definition of "true weight" in the Statute, and it would be for the Court to determine in each instance whether, having regard to the particular machine in use, the person giving the ticket had sufficiently complied with the requirements of the Statute. A circular letter on the subject of the Acts in question was issued in November, 1891, and we are constantly bringing under the notice of auctioneers their liability under those Acts. I doubt whether the issue of a further Memorandum would be of advantage, but I shall be glad to make inquiries on the point. Any person can take proceedings against an auctioneer who makes default in complying with the requirements of the Act of 1891.

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