§ Mr. Bossom
asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will make it obligatory that the sale of day-old chicks shall be by the proxy or blackboard method.
§ Sir T. Dugdale
Under the Live Poultry (Restrictions) Order, 1952, there is a general prohibition on the holding of a market or sale of day-old chicks, but there is an exception for the sale by auction on market premises of day-old chicks which have been produced at a hatchery and which, at the time of sale, have not been moved from the hatchery premises. These provisions have led to the method of sale mentioned by my hon. Friend. The Order is designed to reduce the risks of the spread of fowl pest and will be amended or withdrawn when the restrictions are no longer necessary on disease grounds. I am not satisfied that it would be desirable to make the method of sale by description obligatory, and in any case I have no powers to control this matter other than those derived from the Diseases of Animals Act.