HC Deb 09 July 1913 vol 55 cc416-7

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether any tests have recently been made as to the increase or decrease in the weight of Irish lambs while undergoing the period of detention at British ports; if so, will he state the results; whether the owners of the animals were notified of the intention of the Board's officials to perform the test, and that they might be present; and whether, in future, if the exporters of lambs intimate to the Board their desire to have their lambs weighed at the beginning and the termination of the detention period, their wish will be complied with and in their presence?


Several tests were made during the month of May to ascertain whether Irish lambs increased or decreased in weight during detention at the landing places in Great Britain. With few exceptions, a substantial increase of weight was recorded. I understand that the owners of the lambs were not specially notified beforehand, but in some cases at any rate they were present when the test was carried out. There is no objection on the part of the Board to their presence, and I have more than once invited Irish farmers to visit the landing places and see for themselves, with the result that when they acted on the invitation they have been satisfied that the detention does not cause deterioration. The weighing tests necessarily interfere to some extent with the ordinary work of the Board's inspectors at the ports, and the number must, therefore, be kept within reasonable limits, but subject to that condition I will gladly do my best to meet the wishes of any Irish exporter who wishes to see his lambs weighed before and after their detention.