§ 70. Sir J. SPEAR
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if he is aware that inconvenience and loss were caused to flockmasters in Devon recently by the neglect to duly advertise the coming into force of the Sheep-dipping (Devon) Order, dated 10th July, 1916; in consequence of this omission, if he is aware that on 6th and 9th August numbers of sheep and lambs were brought to Lydford annual sale and to Tavistock Fair on these dates, but could not be offered for sale because the owners, not being aware of the Order, had failed to have their animals dipped a second time as required by the Order; will he consider the advisability of amending the Order so as to confine its application to sheep that have been kept on common land within the prescribed area, where alone sheep-scab prevails; will he provide that sheep can be moved into the area from healthy districts without conforming to the Order; and will he cause the Order so amended to be duly advertised?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Acland)
I have received information to the effect given in the first two parts of my hon. Friend's question, though I have none which shows that the local authority whose duty it is to do so neglected to advertise the Order to the best of their 2073 ability. In this connection, it must be remembered that local authorities are working with reduced staffs so that it is not possible for the police to pay farmers many special visits for the purpose of informing them of Orders, and also that the farmers themselves have been kept very busy on their farms and many, probably, have had no opportunity of seeing posters, or notices in the papers. With regard to the third part of the question, the Board do not think it advisable to amend the Order, which requires licences to be issued in the case of all sheep going out of the area to which the Order refers, for the reason that the dipping of sheep is only required in the case of those which have been on any moor, common, or unenclosed land, and are not leaving such land for the purpose of slaughter. With regard to the fourth part of the question, the requirements that sheep, which are being moved to a moor, common, or enclosed land, shall be dipped beforehand and that sheep going to other destinations in the prescribed area shall be dipped on arrival at their destination, are made for the purpose of protecting flockowners from the risk of the introduction of sheep-scab into their flocks. The Board do not think it desirable to withdraw this protection. In these circumstances the request made by my hon. Friend in the last part of the question does not arise.