HC Deb 11 December 1922 vol 159 cc2543-51

Licence for movement from landing place.

1.—(1) No imported cattle shall be moved from the landing place at which they are landed except under a licence granted by a veterinary inspector and in accordance with such conditions, if any, as may be imposed by the licence and with the Regulations contained in this Schedule.

(2) A licence granted under this provision shall be a licence authorising the cattle to be moved either to—

  1. (a) a market specially authorised in writing by the local authority of the district for the purposes of this provision (in this Schedule referred to as "an authorised market"); or
  2. (b) premises (including a slaughterhouse) other than an authorised market.

(3) A local authority may, if they think fit, instead of granting an authority for the purposes of this provision in respect of the whole of a market, grant such an authority in respect of some part of a market, and where a part of a market is so authorised the provisions of this Schedule shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have effect as though references to a part of a market were substituted for references to a market.

(4) A copy of every authority granted by a local authority for the use of a market for the purposes of this provision shall be sent forthwith by the local authority to the Ministry.

Conditions to be complied with in the case of cattle in authorised markets.

2.—(1) Imported cattle which have been removed to an authorised market shall at all times while therein be kept separate from all animals other than imported cattle, and shall not, if part only of a market is authorised for the purposes of this Schedule, be permitted, while any such other animals are in the market, to enter any part of the market other than the authorised part.

(2) No animals other than imported cattle shall be permitted to enter an authorised market.

(3) Imported cattle exposed for sale at an authorised market shall not be moved there-from otherwise than under a licence granted by a local inspector and in accordance with such conditions, if any, as may be imposed by the licence or otherwise than to premises hot being an authorised market to be there detained in accordance with the provisions of this Schedule.

Detention of imported cattle on arrival at premises other than market.

3. When imported cattle have under a licence in that behalf been moved to premises other than an authorised market, whether from the landing place or from an authorised market, they shall on arriving at those premises be detained therein, unless previously slaughtered therein, for a period of six days from the date of arrival.

During the said period the cattle shall not be moved from the said premises otherwise than under a further licence to be granted by a local inspector, or otherwise than to a slaughter-house, to be therein detained until they are slaughtered, or to a vessel for export.

Temporary detention in special enclosures of cattle awaiting sale at market.

4.—(1) Where a licence has been granted under this Schedule authorising the movement of imported cattle to an authorised market, the cattle may by virtue of that licence, subject as hereinafter provided, be temporarily detained in special lairs or other enclosures adjoining or near to the market while awaiting exposure for sale in the market: Provided that—

  1. (a) the lairs or enclosures must be lairs or enclosures the use of which has been authorised by the local authority for the purpose of this provision, and the use of the lairs or enclosures for the purpose aforesaid shall be subject to such directions as may be given by or on behalf of the local authority;
  2. (b) the lairs or enclosures must not be used for any animals other than imported cattle in course of being moved to an authorised market under this Schedule;
  3. (c) the cattle shall not remain in the lairs or enclosures for a period exceeding seventy-two hours.

(2) If the Minister after making inquiries is satisfied that it is for any reason inexpedient or undesirable that any lairs or other enclosures, the use of which has been authorised for the purpose aforesaid, should be used for that purpose, the Minister may direct that those lairs or enclosures shall cease to be authorised lairs or enclosures for the purpose of this provision.

Provisions to licences and movement.

5.—(1) A licence granted under this Schedule for the movement of imported cattle shall remain in force for a period of five days, inclusive of the day on which it is granted, and no longer.

(2) A copy of every licence granted under this Schedule shall be sent forthwith by the veterinary inspector or local inspector by whom it is granted to the local authority of the district in which the authorised market or other authorised place of destination is situate, and also, where the place of destination is not an authorised market, to the occupier of that place.

(3) Every licence granted under this Schedule shall accompany the cattle to which it relates throughout the time during which they are being moved thereunder, and shall on demand be produced by the person for the time being in charge of the cattle to any veterinary inspector or local inspector or police constable.

(4) A licence authorising the movement of imported tattle to an authorised market shall be delivered up at the entrance to the market by the person for the time being in charge of the cattle to the person appointed by the local authority for the purpose of receiving such licences, and every licence authorising imported cattle to be moved elsewhere than to an authorised market shall forthwith after the arrival of the cattle at the authorised place of destination be delivered up at, or sent by post to, the nearest police station in the district by the person then in charge of the cattle.

(5) Imported cattle to be moved under a licence granted under this Schedule shall, so far as is practicable, be moved by rail, and shall in all cases be moved without unnecessary delay and direct to the authorised place of destination.

(6) Where imported cattle are being moved by rail they shall not, until they reach the railway station from which they are to be moved to the premises specified in the licence, be removed from their trucks for any purpose other than the purpose of being fed or watered, and then only at some railway station, and if removed for that purpose shall not be taken outside the station premises. Provided that nothing in the foregoing provision shall prevent the removal from its truck of any animal on account of any injury sustained by it or for any other necessary purpose.


6. Nothing in this Schedule Shall

  1. (a) apply to imported cattle intended for exhibition or other exceptional purposes, the landing of which is allowed for the time being by the Minister subject to the provisions of Part II of the Third Schedule to the principal Act; or
  2. (b) be deemed to authorise the movement of any cattle in contravention of any order of the Minister, or any regulation of a local authority prohibiting or regulating the movement of cattle.


7. In this Schedule, unless the context otherwise requires—


I beg to move in paragraph (1, 2, a), after the word "market" ["a market specially authorised"], to insert the words within five miles from the landing-place at which they are landed. The object of the Amendment may be explained briefly. The scheme of the Regulations is that the cattle when landed from the ship may proceed to any authorised market—a market authorised in writing by the local authority—and being sold there, may be sent to the purchaser's place of business or to his farm and there detained for six days. If not sold they must then be sent to some place of detention and kept there six days. The Amendment seeks to provide that the authorised market to which they are first sent shall be a market within five miles from the place of landing. I am not wedded to five miles; I do not care whether it is five miles or ten miles. My object is to secure that all cattle coming by one particular ship, if they are going to be sold before the six days' detention has taken place, shall be sold at one market. Otherwise, supposing 300 or 400 head of cattle are sent in lots of 20 or 30 to different markets all over the country, those which are not sold will have to be detained, leading to an immense amount of trouble and administrative work, and it seems to me this will make the value of the detention nugatory. The object of the detention is that cattle may not be landed here, and brought about the country carrying incipient disease with them. The idea is that in the six days' detention, the disease, if any exist, will show itself and can be easily traced should it develop afterwards. I do not see what objection exists to the proposed Amendment. If they are sold at the one authorised market near the port of landing to private persons, all is well and good. The cattle then proceed to the particular farm, and are kept there six days, and longer; if disease should develop they can easily be traced at once. If, on the other hand, they are not sold there, they go to the place of detention near by. I have a further Amendment later to ensure that the place of detention shall be near to the port. There, again, if disease is developed, it is at once scotched, because the officers of the Board have these cattle in view.

The only objection I can possibly see to my scheme is that it may be said that purchasers from the country districts might like to buy these Canadian cattle direct from the ship. They can, of course, go to the market near the port, but if it is found that there is any clog on business by the Regulation, it would happen, as in the case of Irish cattle, that they would be detained near the port of landing for six days. After that time they can be sent to any market in any quantity without any licence and without trouble of any sort or kind. After the six days have expired, wherever the cattle are, they become free cattle and can be moved about by train or by road, just in the same way as English cattle.

That is the object of my Amendment, and I commend it to the Committee as leading to great ease and simplicity in administration, and to ultimate safety. It may be said that this will entail, in working, detention near the port. Suppose it does? Cattle which have come across on a voyage lasting 14 days and which may have been knocked about by rough seas, will have these six days during which to recover. I am perfectly certain that in many cases the importers of these cattle will prefer to keep them for six days and then to get better prices, owing to the improvement in their appearance.


My hon. and learned Friend seems to be under the impression that the object of the six days' detention which is provided for under the terms of the licence, is to enable any latent disease which is in the imported animals to manifest itself, and the animals, of course, to be segregated and slaughtered. In fact, however, that is not the object of the provision at all. Its object is to carry out the interim recommendations of the Committee presided over by the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. Prety-man), and to prevent cattle, which arrive in this country perfectly free from disease, being moved about from one market to another and, by that means, picking up infection in one market and carrying it on to a number of others. It has nothing to do with disease manifesting itself in cattle infected before they arrive. It is to prevent cattle moving from one market to another and carrying disease with them. The cattle arrive free from disease. They can be sent to any one market, and it does not matter whether they go to one or to 20 different markets for this purpose. They are free from disease when they get to the market. They can none of them move from one market to another under the existing Clause without six days' detention, which prevents them carrying on infection. The Clause provides that they shall be detained for six days after they have been to the market. If they have gone straight to other premises they shall be detained for six days at those premises. If, after that time, no disease has manifested itself, then we may feel pretty confident that they have not got any disease and can be mixed up with other cattle. To put in the proviso which my hon. and learned Friend suggests, limiting the market to which they are to go to a radius of five miles of the port of arrival, would not only impose a serious handicap on Irish and Canadian cattle, but also one which, in the opinion of the Committee, and in the opinion of those advising the Minister, is wholly unnecessary, and would cause considerable inconvenience, decrease competition of these cattle, and considerably hamper trade.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, at the end of paragraph 1 (4), to insert a new paragraph— (5) 'Local authority' in this Section means the local authority of the district in which is situate the landing-place at which the cattle are landed. I rather think that this will not fit in with the Bill, as my previous Amendment was not accepted, but I would like to point out to the Attorney-General that there is no definition here as to what the local authority is.


On a point of Order. Can this be construed with the rest of the Schedule?


I have just been saying it could not, but I am taking the opportunity of moving it, to point out that the learned Attorney-General has no definition in the Bill of what is the local authority which has to issue these licences.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, at the end of paragraph 2 (2), to insert the words except with the permission of the local authority. The Bill provides that imported cattle may be sent to a market authorised by the local authority, and may be sold there, and if my Amendment is accepted, then the Schedule will read: No animals other than imported cattle shall be permitted to enter an authorised market except with the permission of the local authority. If the Bill stand as printed, it will be an absolute prohibition against the use of that particular market at all other times. It is represented to me by those familiar with the business that it might well mean that the Canadian cattle trade will be a seasonal trade, and perhaps only for five or six months of the year will imported cattle be sold. It seems reasonable, therefore, that the local authority, who are to grant a licence, should also have the power, if they are satisfied, to allow the market to be used for cattle other than imported cattle. If they were satisfied, it would be perfectly safe to do so.

12 M.


Although I do not regard the matter as one of the first importance, I venture to think it would be better to leave the words as they are, because if we insert the words which the hon. Member suggests, the result will be that it will be left to the discretion of every local authority as to whether or not animals other than imported cattle shall come into the market at which imported cattle are being sold. That might be rather a dangerous power to leave absolutely untrammelled in the hands of the local authority, and I think more confidence would be felt if one were sure that these markets, in which imported cattle were being sold should not be visited by other cattle, and therefore there should be no risk of infection being transmitted from one to the other.


Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman consider this between now and Report? It appears that it would cost much additional expenditure to auctioneers and others who lay out their yards, unless there was some provision, it might be by the Ministry of Agriculture or the local authority—I do not care which—by which they should not be deprived of the use of their yards, because they have been used at one time by Canadian cattle.

Major M. WOOD

I am very sorry the right hon. and learned Gentleman has not seen fit to accept this Amendment, which I think very necessary, and certainly cannot do any harm. If the Bill be accepted as it now stands, it means that these premises are going to lie almost derelict for months every year. I think I am right in saying that this traffic is bound to be a seasonal one, and if the Bill passes as it stands, it will be impossible to use these markets for a considerable part—perhaps half—of the year. That is going to entail enormous expense on the dealers and salesmen who are interested in this traffic, and I do think that no harm can really come if the Government accept this. It seems to me that there is no reason why the Amendment should not be accepted now, but if the Government cannot accept it now, I hope they will go very seriously into it and give a decision on Report.


I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that I will give, or my right hon. Friend the Minister will give, the matter consideration between now and the Report stage. I do not think we can accept the Amendment, but we will consider the matter and consult with our advisers to see whether anything can be done to meet the point.


May I suggest that ample provision can be made against the risk of infection?


We will consider the matter.

Amendment negatived.

The following Amendment stood on the Paper in the name of Sir KEITH FRASER: In paragraph 3, after the word "six," to insert the word "clear."


As I fully realise that this Bill is most ineffective, I do not propose to move the Amendment.


I must point out to the hon. Baronet that if he does not intend to move, he ought not to speak.


I beg to move, in paragraph 3, to leave out the words under a further licence to be granted by a local inspector, or otherwise than. This refers to the six days' detention, and I consider this an important provision. I do not question the work of the local inspectors, but this seems to me to be going wide of the Bill.


The Amendment of my hon. and gallant Friend is intended to make the Clause stronger; it will have precisely the opposite effect, and make it weaker Under no circumstances can the cattle be moved from the same premises to another market. If moved at all two conditions must be observed; the first that there must be a further licence granted by the local inspector, and secondly, they must be moved to a slaughter house or a vessel for export, and to no other place.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I beg to move, in paragraph 3, to leave out the words or to a vessel for export. I do not see the necessity for this provision at all.


The reason this power is included is that as the Bill is drawn at present, it applies Regulations to all animals that are brought into Great Britain. Among these are a certain number of animals that are imported from the Chanenl Islands. These animals, after 12 hours' detention, are moved across England to vessels for export, and this trade would be completely killed if this provision was not in.

Amendment negatived.

Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered To-morrow (Tuesday), and to be printed [Bill 8].