§ 44. Mr. EMLYN-JONES
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the serious loss to farmers in the County of Dorset due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease; that the compensation 1757 paid for slaughtered animals is inadequate and does not take into account loss of income; and whether he will introduce legislation to provide for a scheme of national insurance of cattle and livestock to minimise the hardships now suffered when serious outbreaks of disease occur?
§ Mr. BUXTON
I am aware of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Dorset, and I deplore the loss to farmers which cattle disease generally entails. Under existing legislation my Department is empowered to pay compensation only in respect of animals slaughtered in connection with the outbreak, and it has no power to entertain claims for consequential losses. With regard to the last part, the question of a scheme of insurance was included in the terms of reference of the Departmental Committee which was appointed in February last to inquire into the recent series of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease.
§ Mr. BUXTON
I regret to say that there have been continuous reports of fresh cases, but only a very small number, two or three per day. We have not got to the end of it.
§ Captain FITZROY
When does the right hon. Gentleman expect the Report of the Committee set up to investigate foot-and-mouth disease?