§ 56. Mr. H. L. D'A. Hopkinson
asked the Minister of Agriculture what representations he has received from the National Farmers' Union in regard to the possibility of modifying the size of the punch used for marking the ears of calves on which subsidy is paid.
§ Mr. G. Brown
The National Farmers' Union have made representations of a general nature to the Department on this subject, but they appreciate the difficulty of finding any satisfactory alternative to the present system.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
Is it not a fact that the National Farmers' Union are not satisfied with the present position, and that 2450 they would like is modified on one of the lines indicated by the Minister in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Westmorland (Mr. Vane) a few weeks ago?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a number of calves' ears have been badly damaged by the use of a punch which makes a hole half an inch in diameter? Is he aware that many farmers think that if a punch making a hole ⅜ inch in diameter or a triangle with a ⅜ inch side were used by experienced men the disadvantages found earlier would be removed and that this would be well worth trying?
§ Colonel Gomme-Duncan
As pedigree cattle are already marked on the ear with a number, is it not unnecessary to have a large hole as well?