HC Deb 23 April 1913 vol 52 cc350-1

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the hardship inflicted on dealers and others who buy pigs passed as sound in the market by the Board's inspectors which, after they have been slaughtered, are condemned as unfit for human food; and whether he will consider the advisability of paying compensation in such cases?


It is no part of the duties of the Board's inspectors to pass as sound pigs exposed in markets, and I am not aware that they do so. The Board have no power to pay compensation for animals other than those slaughtered by their direction under the Diseases of Animals Acts.


asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if he is aware that tuberculosis among swine is steadily on the increase; that pigs are frequently condemned after slaughter as tuberculous without previously having any obvious symptoms of the disease; and whether, in view of the condemnation of such animals and their carcases being in the interests of public health and taking into account the comparative poverty of many of their owners, he will make application to the Treasury for a sufficient sum to pay compensation to the owners, as in the analogous case of cattle, of a due proportion of their market value?


I am aware that there has been an increase in the number of carcases of swine condemned on account of tuberculosis, but I am not prepared to say whether this is due to an increase in the prevalence of the disease or to more systematic inspection of meat. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative. The last part of the question should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board.


Is there any distinction in principle as regards compensation between pigs and cattle?


I do not think there is any distinction in principle between them, but the circumstances certainly differ.