HC Deb 20 June 1938 vol 337 cc692-3
31. Mr. Hopkin

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the hardship inflicted on the farmer who has a bull which is rejected as unsuitable for being licensed for stock purposes, in that the farmer is prohibited from taking such bull to a mart to be sold; and will the Minister consider amending the Act to make it permissible for the farmer to sell such a bull at a public mart with proper safeguards as to the subsequent slaughter of the animal?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

Under the existing procedure a farmer owning a rejected bull which he does not wish to castrate is required to move the bull direct to a slaughterhouse. While I can understand the desire of a fanner to avail himself of such competition as would be afforded by the sale of the animal in a public market, the hon. Member will appreciate that the object of the Licensing of Bulls Act would be defeated if such a bull were sold at a market and were not immediately slaughtered thereafter. I have recently reviewed the existing procedure and have come to the conclusion that the provision of the safeguards which would be necessitated by the procedure suggested would be impracticable on grounds of administrative difficulty and expense.

Mr. Hopkin

Is it not a fact that these rejected bulls are so marked with an "R" that it would be impossible for them to be sold without the officials knowing? Is the Minister aware that owing to this fact the price received for these bulls is altogether out of proportion to their value?

Mr. Morrison

In individual cases where hardship arises through there being no competition for the bull, I have power to make an exception and I am very willing to consider any particular case of hardship which may arise.

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