§ Sir R. THOMAS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has received any application from the Meat Traders' Association asking that meat traders who have carcases condemned on account of foot-and-mouth disease should receive compensation from the State on the same conditions as that paid to owners of beasts ordered by the Ministry of Agriculture to be destroyed on account of foot-and-mouth disease; and whether he is prepared to grant this?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The Diseases of Animals Acts contain no authority for the payment of compensation for carcases condemned on account of foot-and-mouth disease. The authority is limited to payment for live animals which the Ministry considers it necessary to slaughter in order to pre- 2159W vent the spread of disease. The answer to the second part of the question is therefore in the negative.
The amounts paid as compensation for stock destroyed under foot-and-mouth disease orders for the six months ended 24th March in the years 1926 and 1927 were £269,228 and £68,921, respectively.
The carcases of animals condemned in connection with foot-and-mouth disease are usually disposed of by cremation, but where this method is found to be impracticable burial is adopted.
The cost of the Ministry's operations against foot-and-mouth disease in the financial year 1927–28 (including the sum of £151,437 referred to in the question) was met from the Cattle Pleuro-Pneumonia Account for Great Britain in pursuance of the Diseases of Animals Act, 1894. The statutory maximum annual grant of £140,000 in aid of the account was provided by Parliament for 1927–28 as part of the Ministry's Vote for that year. This grant of £140,000 proved insufficient to meet the payments falling to be made from the account in the year and the balance of the sum required was provided by advances from the Local Taxation Accounts for England and Scotland in accordance with the provisions of the Act.