HL Deb 29 April 1947 vol 147 cc233-4WA

asked His Majesty's Government, whether it is a fact that more cattle sickness has broken out on the lands in Perthshire and Stirlingshire which were believed to have been poisoned by fumes from the destruction of ammunition, and if so whether the Government's recent advice to farmers to turn their cattle out on to these lands will now be cancelled, and if compensation will be paid to those farmers who accepted the Government's advice, and whose cattle are now suffering from similar symptoms to those experienced in the previous outbreak; also, what progress has been made in the payment of compensation to farmers who lost their stock previously, and as detailed in the Minister's reply to my question on February 12, 1947?


A few complaints regarding sickness among recently purchased animals have been made by farmers whose lands were suspected in 1946 to be contaminated as a result of burning of surplus war stores in this area in the autumn of 1945. These complaints have been closely investigated by veterinary officers familiar with the symptoms associated with the previous outbreak of poisoning and I am glad to say that they have found no evidence of poisoning among the animals, the sickness among which has been causing anxiety to the owners. There are therefore no grounds for cancelling the advice already given to farmers regarding the safety of crops and grazing. Should, however, any sickness among animals on farms in this area be proved at any time to have arisen from the original contamination, each case would be considered on its merits with a view to ex-gratia compensation.

As regards the last part of the question the position is as follows: Forty-six claims have been paid totalling approximately£28,900. Five claims have been passed for payment totalling approximately£4,700. Thirty-four claims are outstanding. Eight claims have been repudiated.