HC Deb 25 February 1924 vol 170 cc53-4W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the Birmingham pig market, which has been closed by the Ministry on account of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, is on an entirely different basis to other markets, seeing that no livestock other than pigs for immediate slaughter are handled there, of which a large proportion are slaughtered and sold for fresh meat; and whether, in view of the extreme shortage of pork and pork products resulting from the closing of this market, he will give instructions that it should be reopened immediately?


Serious outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease have recently occurred at Birmingham and Salford pig markets in consequence of which the Ministry has been obliged to make an Order which only allows pigs to be moved direct to a slaughterhouse without any intermediate gathering or grading centre. There is grave danger of the spread of infection by dealers and butchers who attend the market and I am not prepared at present to rescind the Order.


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether farmers in areas infected with foot-and-mouth disease are being compelled to plough in root and other crops; and, if so, what compensation are they receiving?


No order respecting the disposal of root crops has been issued, but I am aware that a number of farmers who have had foot-and-mouth disease on their premises are experiencing considerable difficulty in disposing of their root crops. Cases in which roots have had to be ploughed in because there was no sale for them, are, I think, comparatively rare. In the Cheshire area an arrangement has been made in cases where there is little danger of further infection, to allow sheep to come on to the farms to eat the roots. The Ministry, however, is not empowered to pay compensation in respect of consequential losses due to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease.