HC Deb 30 July 1934 vol 292 cc2311-3W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is in a position to give further particulars with regard to the arrangements contemplated for the purposes of payments to producers under the Cattle Industry (Emergency Provisions) Bill?


By the provisions of Clause 4 of the Bill it is the duty of the cattle committee to prepare and submit to the appropriate Ministers particulars of the arrangements referred to, and the hon. Member will of course appreciate that I cannot anticipate the detailed proposals likely to be submitted. At this stage I am only in a position to give general indications having regard to the advice already received by the appropriate Ministers from representatives of organisations of persons engaged in the fat cattle trade. The system to be adopted will provide for the examination and weighing of the live cattle and of carcases of cattle in respect of which claims for payments out of the cattle fund will be made; for the recording of their weights; and finally for certification that they have complied with the provisions of the Act. Centres at which these operations can take place will have to be approved throughout the United Kingdom. For live cattle such centres will probably be established at existing cattle markets which are equipped with the necessary weighing; facilities and penning or tying accommodation. The duty of examining and certifying animals as eligible for payment will be a responsible one. Thanks to the offer of assistance from the representative organisations of farmers, auctioneers and meat tradesmen and from the representatives of local authorities, it is hoped that, at the minimum expense to producers, it will be possible to arrange that this duty will be performed at each centre by three persons, each representing one of these interests. Different arrangements for examination and certification will have to be made for Northern Ireland owing to the different conditions prevailing there, but I am not yet in a position to give particulars. The permanent mark applied to an animal at the time of certification will probably take the form of a snip from the edge of the ear and a hole in the ear which will be made by means of an ear punch. The form of certificate is receiving careful consideration. There will probably be two forms for live animals, one for use in cases where the certifying officer is in a position to certify that a sale has actually taken place, and the other for use in all other cases. This will enable a producer to retain an animal for a limited time, if desired, after having it certified, without foregoing his right to payment under the Act. I am not yet in a position to give particulars of arrangements at dead weight centres. I hope to be in a position to announce the composition of the cattle committee as soon as the Bill has completed its passage through Parliament.

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