HC Deb 19 March 1913 vol 50 cc1036-7

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether, under paragraph 3 of Article 8 of the Tuberculosis Order of 1913, the compensation payable for cattle slaughtered as tuberculous will amount to one-fourth only of the value of the animal valued as in an advanced stage of tuberculosis, although the existence of the disease, as where tuberculous lesions are present only in the muscular system, may be wholly unknown to the owner; and, if so, seeing that stock owners will in effect receive no appreciable compensation in the case of most of the animals likely to be reported or notified under the Order, he will consider the advisability of amending the above article so as to provide that the valuation shall take place prior to slaughter and post-mortem examination?


The hon. Member's interpretation of Article 8 (3) of the Order is approximately correct, but I am advised that signs of disease would be apparent before slaughter in animals for which compensation would be payable on the lower scale allowed by that article. I would also point out that under Article 6 the valuation will be made before slaughter, and will be twofold, namely, on the basis that the animal is suffering from tuberculosis and on the basis that it is not suffering from tuberculosis.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of the symptoms of the disease which are mentioned in this article cannot be ascertained until after post-mortem examination, and are certainly not obvious to the owner of the cattle?


Yes, and I have framed my answer very carefully; and, as the hon. Member will observe, I use the word "signs" instead of "symptoms."