§ 79. Mr. FIELD
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether he has read a letter from the Irish Cattle Traders' and Stock Owners' Association, which has been sent to every Member of Parliament, pointing out that, although Ireland has the cleanest animal bill of health in the world, being practically free from any serious disease, still the 10-hours' detention is rigidly enforced at Birkenhead notwithstanding that those imported animals are all required for immediate slaughter, which minimises any danger; and, in view of the fact that delay in grading and distribution and shipping causes wastage of meat, whether, under existing circumstances, he will consider the advisability of withdrawing the order or reducing the period of detention?
§ Mr. PROTHERO
A special inquiry was recently made by the Board at all ports in Great Britain where Irish cattle are landed. I shall be happy to show the Report to the hon. Member. Its results strengthen the view that any disadvantages caused by the ten hours' detention are more than outweighed by the benefit which the animals derive from the rest. The Board's inspectors at the ports have been given discretion to release animals within the ten hours period should this be necessary to meet the 1750 abnormal difficulties now attending the cross-channel traffic. With regard to grading, the case is met at Birkenhead by the admission of the grading officers during the first hour of the period of detention, and similar facilities will be given at other ports, if required.
§ Mr. PROTHERO
I think the hon. Member will find, when he receives this Report, that it deals with that point.