asked the Minister of Food what facilities are allowed to farmers, dissatisfied with the live-weight grading of their cattle and sheep, to have the value assessed on the actual dressed carcase weight.
A livestock inspector of the Ministry may direct that payment shall be based on the actual dressed carcase weight after slaughter, instead of on the estimate made by the certifying authority. The inspectors are authorised to use this power when a producer is dissatisfied with the certifying authority's estimate. The animals are then sent to the nearest convenient slaughterhouse, and arrangements are made to enable the farmer to see the carcases weighed if he chooses to do so. The dead-weight basis may also be adopted at the producer's request when, because of restrictions on movement under the Diseases of Animals Acts, an animal may be moved from a collecting centre only to a slaughterhouse and, there for cannot be withdrawn from grading and taken back to the farm.
In how many cases has the appeal procedure been used in the last year?
I could not say without notice.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary hold out any hope that this system, which is known in my county as a "guessing competition" will eventually be replaced?
No, Sir, I certainly cannot do that. It may be deemed so in the hon. Member's part of the world, but that is not universal.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that this "competition" is 97 per cent. accurate?
Ninety-nine per cent