Diseases of Animals (Bovine Tuberculosis) Bill, 1957—Committee and Final Stages.

Sara dtosnóimid ag breithniú na leasuithe atá curtha síos don Bhille seo, ba mhaith an rud é go gcuirfinn in iúl go bhfuil leasú (Leasú Uimh. 1, atá in ainm an tSeanadóra Donnchadh de Búrca) a measaim é a bheith as ordú.

Measaim go bhfuil leasú Uimh. 1 as ordú mar go dtiocfadh de muirear d'fhorchur ar chistí Stáit. Tá scéala dá réir tugtha don tSeanadóir.

Before we take up consideration of the amendments tabled for this Bill, it would be well if I indicated that there is an amendment (amendment No. 1 standing in the name of Senator Denis Burke) which I consider out of order.

I consider amendment No. 1 out of order because it tends to impose a charge on State funds. The Senator has been notified accordingly.

I understand, Sir; thank you.

Sections 1 and 2 agreed to.
SECTION 3.
Question proposed: "That Section 3 stand part of the Bill".

Under Section 3, sub-section (2), where notice is given under this section in relation to an area, the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance may, in respect to that area, pay compensation. In that case, is the word "may" equivalent to "shall" or is it just as it stands, that it is not obligatory on the Minister to pay compensation? Perhaps the Minister would define more clearly what exactly is meant by "may"? Is it conditional?

An area may be an accredited area or a clearance area. Apart from those areas, there are districts in respect of which no decision has been taken in regard to making them clearance areas. If an individual wishes to take advantage of the scheme, he may ask for the services which are ordinarily given in other areas and they will be made available to him and the compensation will be paid.

If the Minister states it will be paid, that means that the word "may" means "shall". Is that what it amounts to?

I think that is quite sufficient.

It is an old one, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 4.

I move amendment No. 2:—

In line 52, before "separated" to insert "or otherwise rendering safe".

I think the significance of my amendment is quite clear. It arises out of a point made yesterday by Senator O'Donovan which seemed to me to be very important. On reading the section as it stands at present, I noted that it adds several sub-sections to Section 30 of the Dairy Produce Act and gives the Minister power to make regulations, etc., with regard to creameries so as to ensure the pasteurising of separated milk. Obviously, that is what we all want.

I think it was also clear from what Senator O'Donovan said yesterday that you could have a temporary measure designed to render safe separated milk of this kind, coming from creameries which had not yet installed pasteurising plants—rendering it safe by less radical means, if you like. I think Senator O'Donovan referred to it as the "steam jet process" of raising the temperature of the milk to ensure that while it would not necessarily be technically "pasteurised" or "sterilised", it would be rendered safe, in the same way as milk was rendered safe during the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in 1941.

Unless we insert these words, I hold that the Minister would not have power to ask for that. He has power only to make regulations with regard to pasteurisation. I propose, by this amendment, that the Minister be given power to make regulations not only to prescribe the mode and manner of pasteurising separated milk but also of otherwise rendering it safe. I regard this as only a temporary power necessity, but one which in the immediate months to come might be extremely important, when we consider that in the interim period milk that has not been rendered safe by any means may well spread bovine tuberculosis until such time until all creameries have installed pasteurisation plants, which is the ultimate object of the Minister under this Bill.

Mr. O'Donovan

Senator Sheehy Skeffington mentioned my name a few times in connection with this subject. I think the whole difficulty hinges upon the interpretation of the word "pasteurisation".We have not a definition of the word "pasteurisation" in this Bill, but we had in the Milk and Dairies Act. My suggestion was to ensure making the milk safe by a quick process while we waited for the complete machinery for rendering the milk safe. I think that if we had said "rendering the milk safe for calves" we would not have this discussion.

The Minister is empowered to make regulations requiring that a creamery "shall be equipped with plant for pasteurising separated milk, and may by such regulations prescribe the mode and manner in all respects of pasteurising separated milk." I fancy the Minister will say that if there is no plant available, pasteurisation shall be achieved by the use of steam at the temperature at which milk will be pasteurised, meaning that the tubercle bacilli will be killed. If the Minister accepts the amendment, it will be all right, but I do not think an amendment is necessary. It all depends, as I say, on the interpretation of the word "pasteurisation".

I should like to have heard Senator Sheehy Skeffington define exactly what he meant by this. I do not know what other means there are, unless the Senator has some notion that an anti-biotic can be injected into the skim milk. All of us have the same objective in regard to this matter and the question is how can we reach that objective? If some substitute technique for actual pasteurisation can be adopted as a temporary measure, you will actually hold up the installation of pasteurisation plants throughout the country. That would probably be the tendency.

As a dairy farmer interested in creameries, I feel there will be several capital problems for some of these creameries. Pasteurisation plants are very expensive. In some centres, there may be eight or ten separating stations where the installation of plants would be a considerable item. It might be desirable that some substitute could be used, but it is not the real thing. Any substitute will create a certain attitude of mind on the part of the creamery committees and the farming community, if they feel this is something that can wait.

I am not sure that the word "pasteurisation" is confined to one particular method of removing microbes. It can be used in the wider sense of rendering the substance free of harmful microbes. If that is so, the section is perfectly good.

Would the Minister look at the phrase at line 50 in Section 4 of the Bill "with plant for pasteuring"? Is that a misprint? Certainly throughout the Bill the word used is "pasteurise". I do not know a verb in English "to pasteur". Let me return to the main point. I think the House and the Minister could take the view that in this section the word "pasteurisation" means rendering free from harmful bacteria.

We used to be told long ago that pasteurisation consisted in raising a substance to a temperature that killed certain classes of organisms and, having done that, that was all that was necessary. I do not think there is very much difficulty about this. The method of pasteurisation by the steam injection technique has the difficulty that when you get a large volume of milk, you have to put in so much steam to raise it to the death point that you dilute it considerably and the milk may lose its flavour.

I think the situation can quite easily be solved about bacteriological control. It is just a matter of checking the method applied and seeing that you are rendering the commodity germ free. It is largely a matter of technical definition. I do not think there should be any difficulty, in practice, in getting bacteriological control all around. The term "pasteurisation" had a strict meaning as introduced by Pasteur. I think "pasteurise" is the accepted word — alas, I do not know what it is in Gaelic.

Some Senator mentioned travelling creameries or travelling separating plants. In order to deal with the skimmed milk in those cases, it would be very difficult to provide a travelling pasteurising plant. Possibly some other method may be devised where there are travelling creameries.

I remember a question that was the centrepiece of a famous controversy in my youth — What is whiskey? If anyone asked a layman like me what whiskey was, I would be able to give a better definition than as to what pasteurisation is.

I assume that pasteurisation, as applied to creamery milk, has a very definite meaning and connotation. If this Bill becomes law, as I hope, it will give authority to the Minister to insist immediately on the installation of pasteurising plant in every creamery. I take that to be the truth. People realise that it is important for all the creameries immediately to install a pasteurising plant in order to make the milk safe. As an interim measure and a temporary expedient, the Minister will permit a certain other method to be utilised, until the pasteurising plant is installed. I think it would be wrong to embody alternative and less effective methods of doing the work as part of the legislation.

The Minister has told us there is a very definite connotation, a very precise definition of "pasteurisation". I am sure there is; I am satisfied on that point. That is the very reason for my amendment. If the Minister binds himself to make regulations only with regard to full "pasteurisation" in the full connotation of the term, then he cannot make regulations for any interim or emergency method of making the milk safe, while waiting for the full installation of pasteurisation plant.

It seems to me that, under the present section, as worded, the Minister is given full powers to insist only upon methods of "pasteurisation". If pasteurisation were a vague term which would include practically any method of making the milk safe for calves and pigs, then I should be quite satisfied. If, on the other hand, it is a rigid term with a strict connotation. I suggest there will be an interim period no matter how swiftly the Minister acts — and I am sure, as he says, he will "insist immediately"— between his immediate insistence and the installation of the plant for pasteurisation. Under the Bill as at present framed the Minister has no power to ask for any emergency methods to be applied which would certainly be less good in themselves than full pasteurisation, but which would be far better than nothing.

It is in that sense that I ask that the Minister be given power to make regulations not only for pasteurisation at the earliest possible moment, but for the rendering safe of the milk before that pasteurisation becomes possible, in one month, two months' or three months' time. It is in that sense that I put down the amendment.

Senator Sheehy Skeffington has no faith in the ingenuity of civil servants or of the parliamentary draftsmen. When they come to frame regulations, I think they will be able to cover all the points which any one of us could possibly think of. Even if it were a matter of the use of radio-active substances for the destruction of bacteria in milk, I think we could well leave it to the technical officers of the Minister's Department, rather than try to tie them up in regulations framed by an amendment here.

The section permits me to insist on pasteurisation.

That is the point.

It does not give me any authority to insist on an alternative method. I have no intention of insisting on an alternative method. All I intend to do is to permit the creameries to have an alternative method, temporarily.

In view of what the Minister says, I do not wish to press the amendment. I think I am satisfied that he considers he has adequate powers to cover not only the ultimate objective but also the interim period. With that assurance from the Minister, I am satisfied and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Is it necessary to move an amendment to correct the misprint at line 50, page 4, to which I have already referred?

By leave of the House the correction will be made — to change the word "pasteuring" to "pasteurising". I understand that the Minister wishes to make that change.

Section 4 agreed to.
SECTION 5.
Question proposed: "That Section 5 stand part of the Bill."

I think Senator Sheridan has already mentioned this point and I should like some further comment on it. What is there in this question of "attested" as against "accredited" herds? Is there anything in it? The argument was that it would have been better for us to accept the British declaration of "attested heards" rather than "accredited herds". I do not think there is any necessity for us to follow British practice in styling their cattle herds. I think it would be well if we had something different. That would be my reaction in regard to the herds which have been declared free. I should like to hear what the Minister has to say in this regard. The point must have been considered by him and his Department. There might be certain conveniences in the term. I do not know why we should mix up our herds and the British and Six-County herds. When we get our herds healthy, they will be as good as any and will be able to stand on their own credentials.

Mr. O'Donovan

Apart from the references to "accredited herds", there are also "accredited areas". We are using the word "accredited" in respect of herds and areas rather than the word "attested". I do not think it makes any difference worth arguing about.

In reply to Senator Baxter, I would say, with all due respect to his great knowledge of the live-stock industry, that the word we have chosen is unfortunate. This Bill is introduced in order to dovetail with the British scheme and allow fully attested cattle to go from Ireland to Great Britain. In order that these cattle may be sent from this country to Great Britain, certain specifications must be fulfilled. The regulations of this country must fall in line entirely with British regulations. The regulations laid down by Britain will not to be and are, in so far as I can follow the Minister, imposed on our farmers, because otherwise the cattle will not be accepted. Senator Baxter seems to think there is merit in calling it by another name. If that is so, I do not know what the Irish for "attested" or "accredited" would be, but we might as well call it by the Irish name, if we are going to call it by a differnt name entirely.

The reason I did not put down an amendment was that the Minister rather inclined to the view that it would be a good thing if he did change the name as this scheme got under way, that probably in the course of a few months, he would change the word "accredited" to "attested". In the live-stock industry, attested cattle are quite apart. I can see no point in confusing the issue further by calling this scheme "accredited". If the Minister could see his way to describe it as an "accredited or attested scheme", to use both words, then I would agree with that.

I think I understood the Minister yesterday to agree with Senator Sheridan on this point. I think I interpreted his attitude as one rather of embarrassment at having the text in a form which he would like to change but which it is rather difficult for him to change at this last moment. I think the Minister has it in his mind at some early date to change the term "accredited" to "attested". If that is so, I think we must just let it stand. It is obvious there would have to be a number of consequential amendments, because the word "accredited" occurs in a number of sections.

There is no doubt in my mind, however, that this is a most important point, for the reason that the English buyer of cattle has not got time to be finding out whether, when the Irish say "accredited", they mean the same thing as when the English say "attested". That is the point. The man buying cattle, if told: "They are not attested cattle; they are accredited", will ask: "Is that the same thing or is it something else?" just the same as one might ask: "Is Grade A milk the same as T.T. milk?"

We have to recognise that the sense of urgency about the whole problem has been placed on us by reason of the British measures, the British attitude and the British market. The fact is that we did not move until it became apparent that the British were moving.Therefore, I think we are very foolish not to use the same terms. Senator O'Donovan says: "What does the word matter?" I think it would be ambiguous if, for instance, instead of talking about pasteurised milk, we talked about O'Donovanised milk and said: "When we say O'Donovanised milk we mean the same thing as Pasteur meant", and so on.

It is quite absurd for us to use a different word and to expect to be understood by busy people, perhaps highly impatient cattle buyers in the cattle markets. They are not going to look up the Seanad debates to find out that "accredited" means exactly the same as "attested". If in terms of the British market, with which we are intimately and immediately concerned. we mean "attested" when we say "accredited", then we should say "attested" and say what we mean.

I agree with the previous speaker. I should like to point out that the element of urgency in this Bill is undesirable. We meet this fairly often in the Seanad. The Dáil is doing this and that; therefore we must hurry through this Bill. If we hurry this Bill, what will happen? It may mean very genuine inconvenience to many sellers of cattle in this country for the next few months or years. In a sense, we have a choice between the convenience of the sellers of cattle and the convenience of the members of the Dáil. That is about what it comes to. If we spend a reasonable time over this Bill and put through this amendment, it will save hours and hours of trouble for Irish sellers of cattle.

Senator Sheehy Skeffington is perfectly right. The busy cattle dealer in Great Britain will not consult the Seanad debates or write to Ministers to find out whether "accredited" means "attested" or not. They are busy people and they want plain words, not definitions and explanations.I would urge the Minister to think very carefully before he lets the term stand in a Bill like this.

I would ask the Minister also: suppose we pass the section as it stands, what steps can we take to have the word "attested" substituted for "accredited"? Will there be legal difficulty? Has he complete power to drop the phrase in the Bill and substitute a better phrase of his own? I am rather inclined to think he has not that power. If he has that power, I am satisfied; but if it is going to mean that Irish cattle will be described as "accredited" and not "attested" on the cattle markets of England, I think we are doing a wrong thing by hurrying over this section.

Mr. O'Donovan

I feel we are attaching an importance to this question that it does not warrent. Both the Englishman and the Irishman will understand, whether an animal is called "attested" or "accredited", that it is free from tuberculosis. It does not concern them whether we describe the herds or the areas free from tuberculosis as "accredited" or "attested". The matter is not so important as Senators think. If we want to pass an amendment like this——

I am sorry I raised the point at all. There is no amendment.

There is no amendment before the House.

Senator Sheehy Skeffington asked would the British customer think that "accredited" means less than "attested". In selling cattle, whether it be a wagon load or a single animal, such a transaction never takes place without a certain amount of gossip between the Irish seller and the English customer. I do not think the British customer will make any mistake by thinking that "accredited" means less than "attested". There is no need for this discussion at all.

Senator Baxter has indicated there is no amendment before the House in connection with this. I agree with him. I said at the outset that the reason I did not put down an amendment was that I accepted the Minister's statement that he would alter this word in the course of time to agree with the British scheme. Although Senator Baxter says there is no amendment, the only reason we are discussing it at all is that Senator Baxter raised the matter in the first instance.

Like myself, Senator Sheridan was perfectly entitled to raise this matter. When Senator Sheridan speaks about the buying and selling of cattle, he knows what he is talking about. He made a statement in regard to this question of "accredited" against "attested" herds. I wanted to hear him expand that on the section. That is why I raised the point. It was by-passed without any comment. I was anxious to have it discussed. We can arrive at a sensible decision only when we have heard both sides. If I have done the Senator or the Seanad a disservice, I regret it very much.

Senator Sheridan and I discussed this matter of putting down an amendment, but in view of what the Minister told us yesterday we decided there would be no point in putting down an amendment.

I am no philologist and I find it difficult to differentiate very clearly between "accredited" and "attested". Possibly in their search for exactitude the draftsmen were rather meticulous. There will be a Diseases of Animals Bill coming before the Seanad and Dáil within the next year and if any difficulty has arisen in the meantime, we can put it right then. I can trust the cattle trade to describe their goods in the best method possible, in any event.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 6.

I move amendment No. 3:—

In sub-section (2), to delete paragraph (b).

Paragraph (a) says:—

"The compensation shall be the market value of the animal as agreed upon between the owner of the animal and the Minister or, in default of such agreement, as fixed by a valuer appointed by agreement between the owner and the Minister or, in default of agreement as to the valuer, appointed by the Minister."

My contention is that that paragraph gives a Minister all the protection he wants in relation to the money to be paid in compensation and that consequently paragraph (b) is an unnecessary complication. It says:—

"Notwithstanding the foregoing paragraph, the compensation shall not exceed such limit as may from time to time be determined by the Minister with the consent of the Minister for Finance."

I suggest that the Minister is tying his own hands there by giving himself a "power" which he may find awkward in practice. He is binding himself, if he wants to fix this limit from time to time, to get the consent for the limit from the Minister for Finance. It seems to me that it adds complication, and grants no necessary additional powers to the Minister, who is already amply safeguarded in the preceding paragraph.

The words which the Senator desires to delete are common form. Before this Bill was finally accepted by the Government, it was sent to the Minister for Finance. This sub-section undoubtedly is an interpolation by the Department of Finance. It is identical with similar sub-sections in a great many other Bills. The Minister has not tied his hands; the Minister's hands have been tied, which is quite a different thing. They have been tied, like those of other Ministers, by the practice which obtains regarding the powers of the Minister for Finance.

The Minister for Finance is ultimately responsible for all expenditure and for that reason this type of sub-section is inserted in a great variety of Bills. If that question is to be tackled, it is not fair to ask the present or any Minister for Agriculture to make a beginning by defying the Minister for Finance in a particular Bill. If the principle which the Senator raises in his amendment is to be determined, it must be determined for all purposes and in general terms. I think the Minister could not possibly accept this amendment, as it would run contrary to a principle upon which government is conducted here.

The question whether this is a good principle or not, whether there are flaws in it or not, whether it needs some amendment, is a very large general question. I think it should be discussed as such and not by a side-wind in an amendment of this kind to a Bill of this kind.

I should like to meet that point by Senator Hayes. I am astonished that he did not make this point yesterday. The Minister for Defence then asked us to pass a special Bill to remove the words "subject to the previous consent of the Minister for Finance" from Section 5 of the Defence Forces (Pensions) (Amendment) Act, 1938. That is what Senator Hayes now calls dealing with this matter "by a sidewind". I am not quite sure of the connotation of the phrase. He says this is "common form" and that if we want to change it we ought to discuss the general principle and not encourage the Minister for Agriculture to remove this necessity for consulting the Minister for Finance from his Bill as an isolated measure.

Senator Hayes's point would have had great cogency yesterday, when a Bill was passed for the precise purpose of removing exactly this kind of clause. I am sorry he did not listen to the Minister for Justice explaining very carefully and clearly that they found, in practice, that the necessity for this consultation led to endless complication, to months of delay, and was not a help but a hindrance. It is for that reason that the Seanad passed that Bill without demur yesterday. To-day, when I make the same point and try to free the hands of the Minister for Agriculture in the same regard, Senator Hayes says this clause is "common form", that it has been in Bill after Bill, that we must not deal with it in a particular Bill like this but must deal with the whole general principle.I am afraid I cannot take that seriously.

This is common form and it has been in Bill after Bill.

I saw that Bill produced by the Minister for Defence and I certainly must say that when I saw that the name of the Minister for Finance was to be removed from it, I was amazed, even shocked. I do not know why it was done — possibly there were some exceptional reasons.

In all these cases, the Minister for Finance is constitutionally responsible. I do not want that to be regarded as "the dead hand of prevention", beyond doing what is just and right. Possibly I am rather irregular in my outlook on things. I take it I have authority to do certain things and need not go round to Government Buildings to ask the Minister for Finance to agree with anything I do. I do not see any point to it; it is a normal procedure. The abnormal procedure is that of which the Senator spoke and one swallow will not make a summer for me. I think this is quite normal and I ask the Seanad to consent to it.

Is the amendment being pressed?

In the light of the fact that the Minister is apparently quite happy with his hands tied in this manner, I am prepared to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

I move amendment No. 4:—

In sub-section (2), paragraph (c), lines 51-53, to delete, "subject to the consent of the Minister for Finance with respect to their amount,"

This amendment relates to the same kind of principle but there is a slight variation. I am again attempting here to remove from the Minister the necessity to ask the Minister for Finance if the amount of fee he wants to pay to the valuer may be paid. The Minister has told us, if I understand him correctly, that he rather enjoys going to ask this kind of question, that it does not in any way hamper him and that it is routine — you always ask the Minister for Finance. I am a bit surprised at that, because it means in practice, that the Minister will have the right to pay a fee to the valuer when it is a question of compensating for the loss of an animal, but that before he does so, he must ask the Minister for Finance to consent to the amount that he wants to pay, so if the Minister for Agriculture in relation to a particular valuation wants to pay a fee of £5 5s., he must ask permission and approval in each case, if we leave this paragraph in. If the Minister for Agriculture wants to pay £5 5s and the Minister for Finance says: "You should pay £4 11s. 6d.", then the Minister for Agriculture must go back to the value and say: "I am sorry; we cannot pay you £5 5s. which would seem to me to be the right fee. We have to pay £4 11s. 6d., because I asked the Minister for Finance, and I was bound to ask the Minister for Finance for his consent in respect of the amount of the fee to be paid to you under paragraph (c) of sub-section 2 of Section 6 of the Act." It is in order to remove this inconvenience from the Minister's procedure that I am moving this amendment.

There must be some very cheap cows in Senator Sheehy Skeffington's part of the country.

This is not a question of the price of the cow, but of the fee paid to the valuer.

If this section is to work in practice, the number of cases when a valuation would be demanded would be few. The section would be quite unworkable if in every case where cattle are to be disposed of by the Department, valuation has to take place. Then the number of cases that could possibly be dealt with would be few and the amount of administration and red tape ensuing would be colossal. What I can see happening under this section is that when animals are disposed of, there will be an arrangement that the Minister should take them over and dispose of them, and the question of a valuation by a valuer should not arise, except in very rare cases of an odd crank. Under a sensible administration of the section, the amount to be paid will be arranged between the officers of the Minister and the owner of the cattle. If that does not happen the section will not work at all. It is only a safeguard to protect the Minister in the odd case when he is dealing with a person who seems to be unreasonable and a crank. In the ordinary administration of the section, it is not intended that there will be a valuation carried out in each individual case.

Amazingly, I do not feel the ball and chain which the Senator's imagination sees attached to my feet by the Minister for Finance. The Senator's imagination is such that I am surprised that he does not see the broad arrow of his own condemnation of me. This is an ordinary routine business.We would want 400,000 civil servants if we were to pursue the problem of settlement of fees in every case in this bovine tuberculosis organisation. In the ordinary way, where there is a valuer, he will be a local valuer, an auctioneer or a cattle man, and he will be paid what are ordinarily prescribed as the fees. This is normal routine, and the Minister for Agriculture will do exactly what any normal man would do in these normal circumstances. I do not see any injustice or difficulty about it.

I get the impression that the Minister has not quite seen the point of the amendment. I am quite happy to allow the Minister for Agriculture to decide the amount of the fee to be paid to the valuer, but the paragraph insists that he shall not do so without first seeking the consent of the Minister for Finance as to the amount. I will read the paragraph:—

"The fees of any such valuer shall, subject to the consent of the Minister for Finance with respect to their amount, be paid by the Minister."

That means that the Minister is tying himself to ask the Minister for Finance in every case to consent to the amount that he, the Minister for Agriculture, wants to pay in fees to the valuer. The Minister assured us that he does not feel the ball and chain, and I am endeavouring to remove chains which apparently he does not feel. I should like to say to the Minister and the members of the Cabinet: "Ministers of the Cabinet, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains."

The Senator is putting them on me in his imagination.

They are not in my imagination. They are here, put in by paragraphs such as this, and if you leave this paragraph in, the Minister will not be able to decide what amount he is going to pay in fees to the valuer. He must first run to the Minister for Finance. I cannot accept the suggestion that to remove the necessity for consulting the Minister for Finance on every such amount is to increase the number of civil servants required. Quite on the contrary. If he does not have to ask him each time, and send letters back and forth, he will need fewer civil servants working, not more.

Fees have been paid in 12,500 cases of pigs, and I do not believe that the Minister for Finance of the last Government or this heard a single word about any of those cases. If that is an example of what has been done, it should be sufficient for us in the future.

I beg leave to withdraw the amendment. I have done my best for the Minister.

You have, indeed.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Question proposed: "That Section 6 stand part of the Bill."

I have no worries with regard to compensation for commercial cattle, but under sub-section (2), it is stated that the compensation shall be the market value of the animal. I wonder would the Minister tell the House if he intends to pay the pedigree value in cases of pedigree stock which are reactors. I can visualise pedigree stock worth up to £600 or £700. Is it the commercial value that the farmer will be paid for the reactor, or will he get the full pedigree value of his stock which may react?

Surely the market value of pedigree stock is the value of that stock as paid on the market? That is my interpretation and I hope the Minister will not pay anything to the contrary.

Senator Baxter is overlooking the fact that if that market value is something above the scale set out by the Minister for Finance the farmers will not get it. I am surprised that the farmers' representatives have not taken up that matter. There is a maximum scale and irrespective of whether the valuer says it should be above that scale or not, the Minister will not be allowed to pay. He is not empowered to pay.

I think the whole question is that in sub-section (3) "the open market" includes pedigree cattle.

Surely, as anybody knows who has had any experience of pedigree cattle sales, and as Senator Prendergast has said, some cattle will go for £600, £700 or £1,000. Some may be sold for £100 or £150, but that is the value of this stock on the market. Senator Murphy speaks of the Minister fixing a scale. The market fixes the scale and it depends on how the discerning breeder evaluates the productive ability of this stock as to what the price is going to be.

This is a rather important item. A man with a particular herd, if he wants to become accredited, makes application in the usual way. In the course of the testing of his herd, possibly a valuable herd, he has one or two reactors and the value of these reactors would be very considerable. In the March sales at Ballsbridge, there was a Hereford bull sold for £1,000 guineas. That might be the type of animal which would react. I think that Senator Baxter is right in this respect, that if the Bill says that the market value will be paid and that includes pedigree cattle, then that is quite acceptable. I think commercial stock are entirely different from pedigree stock.

We all know that if a heifer or bullock fails in the test, it is taken over by the Minister. It may be estimated to weigh 9 cwt. and the market value on that day's market is possibly £7 per cwt. The value of that animal then will be £63. With pedigree animals, it is quite different. You have the blood lines and the back history of these herds. There may be a very big discrepancy between one pedigree man's opinion and that of another pedigree man. I do not say there is much chance of many pedigree cattle being reactors because from time to time at Ballsbridge and other important sales stock is not allowed to be presented, unless it has been fully attested and a tuberculin test must accompany the cattle.

I think the Minister is reasonably safe in assuming that the proportion of pedigree cattle likely to be reactors would be very small. At the same time, the Minister would be wise to think a little on this point because he is liable to have a very valuable animal reacting and liable to evoke a controversy about this thing. It would be no harm if he clarified the position, if he made it clear that the phrase "market value" applies to pedigree as well as commercial stock. If he states that, we will be all clear and the pedigree men will also be clear.

I think we should differentiate between the price of a pedigree animal on the market and the value of a pedigree animal in the case where it has to be destroyed. I should not like to think that we should have to pay as much as £1,000 for a reactor because it has the name of being a pedigree animal. Sometimes I am not so terribly impressed by the performance of certain pedigree dairy cattle. What impresses me is the cow that can produce a certain number of gallons of milk under the ordinary conditions of the farm, not a specially pampered animal. Do not let us deceive ourselves too much about the claims made for many of these pedigree animals. We shall pay compensation at the market value. Senators must realise that the market value of an animal so affected, if it is necessary to destroy it, cannot be the same as the normal market value. If we were to pay vast sums for pedigree animals, or alleged pedigree animals, I am afraid this Bill could never have got as far as this.

The Minister has intimated that he will not pay the full value for pedigree reactors, if I understood him properly. I feel he is going to run into a lot of difficulty, if that is his intention. He says that the destroying value of the animal is less than the market value. If an animal is a reactor, it does not necessarily have to be destroyed. It may have no clinical tuberculosis at all. If a man wants his herd attested, he must get rid of that animal and must replace it with an animal which may be more valuable. I feel that the Minister should make it clear if it is his intention to pay, or not to pay, the full value for valuable pedigree stock.

Did I hear the Minister say that the market value of a pedigree animal so affected that it has to be destroyed is not as great as the market value of a pedigree that has not to be destroyed. Are those the words of the Minister?

My words were these. A perfectly healthy pedigree animal in the market will fetch more than a pedigree animal which is in the last stages of tuberculosis. Do I make myself clear?

Yes, but I do not agree. We are not dealing with animals that are in the last stages of tuberculosis. We are dealing with an animal that has failed on its test and that is the one you are going to compensate for. That animal might fetch as big a price at the pedigree sales, where the purchaser did not know under Section 3 the animal had failed, as an animal travelling with a test certificate. That is the animal upon which the Minister will have to pay the market value under Section 3. Section 3 says: —

"In sub-section (2) of this section ‘market value' means the price which might reasonably have been obtained for the animal, immediately before the taking possession thereof by or on behalf of the Minister, from a purchaser in the open market who had no knowledge that the animal was affected or suspected of being affected or capable of infecting cattle with tuberculosis except such knowledge as might reasonably have been obtained by inspection of the animal."

The animal in the last stage of tuberculosis does not arise at all under this section. I am not dealing with the animal which is a wreck. A seller brings an animal that has failed its test to a pedigree sales and it is the price that animal fetches which must be compensated for by the Minister.

This is a very delicate matter. This discussion has done no harm at all. All the pedigree breeders I know of have their animals tested and when they have to dispose of a reactor, it is generally sold at the beef price for the reason that no pedigree breeder will buy it. I hope I have made myself clear. If I am right in that contention, it is very easy to fix the market value of the reactor.

I have listened to what has been described by Senator O'Callaghan as a very delicate matter. I asked the Minister yesterday, when replying to the debate, to give a little more information to me about the method to be employed on this question of compensation. Having listened since to many speakers, I am still not clear as to what method is to be employed in respect of stock that have to be destroyed. In the case of stock in the last stages of tuberculosis — perhaps some use can be made of them — why are they to be disposed of? Are they to be sent for meat processing to factories which are capable of dealing with them? If they are, I assume they will be of certain value there. I should like the Minister to let me know whether it is proposed to send some of these animals to our factories for processing into meat meal or bone meal. Can anybody tell me that? Are they curable? Is it intended to use them in that way?

Naturally, in respect of any animal that has to be destroyed, every effort will be made to salvage any value that existed in the animal.

That is all I want to know. Those animals will not be a total loss. So far as State compensation is concerned, they will be of certain value. Is that correct?

What did we understand the Minister to say?

I was asked if some effort would be made to salvage whatever value there would be in any cattle destroyed. That will be done.

Might I ask——

The Minister has answered Senator Hogan's question.

I am more confused now than ever as to what market value is. I think we should not leave this section until we are satisfied as to what market value means. If it means what we have in the Bill, as I thought it did, we should be very clear on it. Sub-section (3) of Section 6 defines market value as: —

"...the price which might reasonably have been obtained for the animal, immediately before the taking possession thereof by or on behalf of the Minister, from a purchaser in the open market who had no knowledge that the animal was affected or suspected of being affected or capable of infecting cattle with tuberculosis except such knowledge as might reasonably have been obtained by inspection of the animal."

Surely that is market value for that animal. The market value of that animal is perfectly described here and I do not see that any other interpretation can be put on it. There is no question of the animal being in the last stages of tuberculosis for the purpose of assessing market value or, indeed, of being in any stage of any disease. Market value is very definitely described as the value of the animal presented for sale without any knowledge of the animal being a reactor.Therefore, market value, from what I can understand from reading this section, must apply to every animal presented, whether pedigree or not. I think there should be no confusion about it, nor must this Bill leave the Seanad while there is any confusion about it.

Mr. O'Donovan

I have experience of agreeing to valuations with owners and subsequent post-mortem examination of the cattle. All the provisions set out in the Tuberculosis Order about agreeing to an independent valuer, if the owner and the representative of the local authority do not agree on an independent valuer, are adopted here. The valuer is not told why the veterinary surgeon is taking up his animal. He is told: "Here is an animal. You value it as to what it would get in the market." He values it as does an ordinary purchaser seeing the animal in the market. The valuer values the animal under those circumstances. I think a difficulty will come in here in regard to redeeming pedigree stock. There is the question of the open market. I am satisfied that pedigree stock will not be sold in what some Senators might interpret as the open market. When they go to the Ballsbridge sales, for instance, they go to a specialised market: you cannot call it an open market. I think now that men breeding and rearing pedigree stock, on finding that they have reactors in their stock—as they have at present, I am sure—cannot send them to a certified sale such as at Ballsbridge.Therefore, he will be limited to the market value of the animal on the open market. That is what Senator O'Callaghan referred to. Therefore, I think he would lose on the comparable value of the animal in a certified sale such as at Ballsbridge and what he would get on the open market, which would be the commercial value.

It seems to me that the breeders of pedigree stock have at present to see that their stock are not tuberculous when they have to test them for Ballsbridge.If they have a reactor under this scheme, I think it will be a matter more or less of the commercial value. If it were free from tuberculosis, then, as a pedigree animal, it would certainly be of far higher value.

There would be no question of tuberculosis at all.

Whatever can be done to clarify this position now should be done because it is of the utmost importance to the Minister in ensuring the sympathetic co-operation of an important but small section of our agriculturists. There are not many people in pure bred stock in the country but they are influential in the sense that they are progressive, that they have information and that they are go-ahead. Their attitude towards this legislation will influence a great many other people.

Senator T. O'Sullivan knows what he is talking about and Senator S. O'Donovan is also very experienced in this matter. Let us take an example. Suppose I have a pure bred Friesian giving 1,000 or 1,200 gallons of 4 per cent. butter fat and that it reacts to the test and that I have to get it out of my herd. If I take her to the market to be sold, then, according to the Minister's interpretation, she might be sold for £55 or £60 although she might be worth £150 if it were possible to sell her to somebody with an attested or accredited herd. Suppose I put an advertisement in theFarmers' Journal. I can sell such an animal to-day with a yield like that far above the market value — the “market value” as I interpret what the Minister has said. What is the price of such an animal likely to be? I do not know, from anything I have heard here. However, anything that can be done to clarify that point is of the utmost importance to ensure goodwill for this measure.

Perhaps we are having a great deal to say about rather a small problem. I am satisfied that the pure bred stock in the country are healthy. They have gone through many tests. I suppose most people who own pure bred stock come up to the point of having accredited herds. I am not talking so much of the male as of the female stock. If a bull is to go, that is that, but it is a different matter with high-yielding Shorthorns, Friesians, Jerseys, Ayr-shires.Far from leaving the owner of these stocks depressed with the thought (1) that he will lose them from the herd and (2) that he will get something far less than their productive value to him at the moment and far less than the replacement value of the beast that will go into the herd, everything should be done to help and encourage him. If possible, I should like a further clarification of this matter. I do not think Senator Hogan's point arises. I do not think this stock is of the type that will go into the bone meal factory at all.

I think Senator Baxter has hit the nail on the head. There are a good many pedigree breeders in this country. They are the men through whose specialisation the present high standard of Irish live stock has been achieved. They are the men who have brought the Irish livestock industry along in the past 50 years from being very moderate and mediocre stock to stock comparable to-day with any in the world. The pedigree men have done that.

Consider the case of a pedigree breeder who has a reactor. Senator S. O'Donovan says he should have no special privileges and that if he has a reactor it should be treated as commercial stock. I think Senator T. O'Sullivan has put the point better when he says that the Bill specifically states the value that will be paid will be the market value. As Senator Baxter points out, this is a very suitable time to have this matter clarified because undoubtedly the Minister will walk into trouble in the very near future. Once men apply for eradication, this problem will arise. Senator Baxter is right in saying that this is a very suitable place to examine that matter. The wording of the Bill is sound—that they will pay the market value. However, when I speak about market value I also say that if a pedigree animal reacts the pedigree market value of that animal should be paid. Why should the pedigree man in this country be treated unfairly simply because he has the enterprise to go on and grade up the stock of the country?

It is a very simple matter for the Minister to say: "The statement of the Department is that we will pay the market value of the cattle whether the cattle are pedigree or commercial." A man may have a particularly good cow that goes down in the test. As Senator Baxter says, you cannot send it out and have it valued. Again, it is a little unfortunate to say that the animals have to be destroyed. That is one aspect of it which has never been raised. Although it may cost the Department and the nation a good bit of money to take over reactors, a lot of money will be realised from the salvage of these cattle. I have had scores of cases of reactors which were slaughtered but which had no evidence of clinical tuberculosis. They are being retailed in the Dublin shops all the time. I imagine the salvage from the reactors will work out at rather better than 50 per cent. of what they pay in compensation.

Mr. O'Donovan

They should.

It will be a very moderate price. As a commercial man, if I were offered the live stock of the Department at 50 per cent. of their valuation, I would think I made a good bargain. The Minister should tell us now: "We will pay the market value of cattle that are reactors, whether they be pedigree cattle or coommercial cattle." If they be pedigree cattle, you will have to have an independent valuer, just the same as you will have to have a commercial valuer. A firm like Gavin Low, if called in as commercial valuers, would give a sound opinion. They could also give an opinion on pedigree animals.

When we speak of £1,000, we are talking about a record price for pedigree animals in this country. The average would be nearer £100. At the last sale in Ballsbridge, the average price of pedigree Shorthorns was in the region of 87 guineas. That is not so much above the commercial price. I should like the Minister to be clear about this question of the market value.

I should like to ask the Minister a question about the definition given here of "a purchaser in the open market." Will there be any such person in two years' time or less? Surely, if offered a cow in the open market, a purchaser's first question will be: "Did she pass the tuberculosis test?" If you say, according to this section, you are giving no information and that you do not know, he must then use his own judgment. The section could almost be interpreted as meaning that the purchaser would use his own judgment in default of a certificate.He could hold that the animal had actually reacted and that, therefore, its value to him was only the scrap value at the factory.

The other point I would make is that this discussion highlights again the necessity for conserving as far as possible our valuable breeding stock. When a farmer tests his cows and finds that a number of valuable animals react, he should be permitted, for a very limited period, to use those as breeding stock for his replacements. I think Deputy Moher hit the nail on the head when he said in the Dáil that the essential thing was the breeding of replacements on those dairy farms. I expect that the Minister in applying this scheme will be equally concerned with preserving our foundation stock.

I think some confusion has developed in this debate in regard to the question of compensation and the interpretation of "open market". My view is that there should be a reasonable approach by the Minister in regard to the compensation paid in the case of pedigree stock, just as in the case of commercial stock. The breeders of pedigree stock serve a very useful purpose indeed. Serious harm would be done if this debate caused disquiet abroad and made pedigree breeders feel that the intention was not to pay market prices for pedigree stock. I subscribe to the viewpoint expressed by Senator Ted O'Sullivan and Senator Baxter that the owners of pedigree stock should be paid the price that their stock would reasonably fetch at a sale of pedigree stock.

I do not take the view that, when there is a reactor to be disposed of, the owners of pedigree stock should demand or expect the highest possible price, such as might be obtained by one animal or a few animals at a sale at Ballsbridge. That should not be the standard by which the value of pedigree stock would be determined.

I was a little alarmed by the discussion in regard to the slaughtering of animals. That should not have arisen at all. This section makes provision for the taking over of animals that react. When an animal reacts, it should be generally understood — and I think it is generally understood — that does not mean the animal is clinically active with tuberculosis. Those animals can be quite useful in many ways. Before we had such tests, many such animals were regarded as quite healthy and they are still being exported from the country. They have a sale value.

When we come to eradicate tuberculosis, we must take steps to remove the reactors. Such animals are taken over by the Minister. It is not a question of sending them to a meat and bone meal factory. The suggestion that they are in the jaws of death because of tuberculosis does not arise at all. That should have been made quite clear by the other speakers who dealt with this matter. It could cause a lot of disquiet outside. It is unfortunate that the impression was given that such animals are useless.

From the speeches we have heard, Senators would be inclined to get the idea that pedigree stock may be sold only at Ballsbridge. If that impression were allowed to go out, the Minister and his Department might be frightened off and might imagine that the compensation they would have to pay for pedigree stock would be on the basis of prices at Ballsbridge. There are sales of pedigree stock in the country at other places besides Balls-bridge. You have sales of pedigree stock in the Dublin market and at various dispersal sales and fairs all over the country. The prices that obtain in these places are not comparable with the prices obtaining at Ballsbridge, where the animals are bred for show purposes. I would advise the Minister when considering the matter to give such compensation as will entice these breeders to get rid of their stock. If he treats them merely on the basis of commercial stock, he is simply tinkering with the whole problem.

In the kindness of my heart and with a view to obliging the Seanad in every fashion, I permitted myself to be involved in an argument which has carried me beyond my depth. What objection is there to the wording of the sub-section?

None at all. The Minister made the argument.

I certainly was put into a cocked hat by some of the Senators. To a mind completely divorced from the cattle trade and having no knowledge of it, the comment on the cattle trade is in the last words of the sub-section, the price to be obtained, "from a purchaser in the open market who had no knowledge that the animal was affected or suspected of being affected or capable of infecting cattle with tuberculosis." If you go to a fair, it seems to me you have to be an awfully tough boy.

One thing I gathered from this and from my knowledge of human nature is that we can have reactors and demands in relation to these reactors. We would have reactors supplied with a family crest and coat of arms and family tree; the woods would be full of them. We must take precautions to guard ourselves against claims of that nature. I am sure the Seanad is with me in suggesting that it is reasonable to guard ourselves against claims of that nature, such as are suggested in the words of the section. Here are the words of the section clarifying the position as far as it can be clarified. Even Senator O'Sullivan has no objection to it.

None whatever.

People ought to stop talking about it, then. There is one point raised by Senator Quinlan. I do not think the inspectors of the Department should go out, like the emissaries of Herod, prepared to slaughter all the stock. I imagine we can and should preserve a valuable breeding stock by way of segregation. I think it would be wise and that it can be and should be done.

It may be that I am stupid. I asked a question: will the farmer get the full pedigree value of a reactor? The Minister did not make it clear to me whether he would or not, and I would like him to do so. There are many people who would be very concerned if they felt, on going into this scheme, that some of their stock may be reactors. If Senator O'Donovan's interpretation is correct, I certainly would be very worried about it. Will they get the full pedigree value in compensation or will they not?

I suggest that whatever any Senator says here will have no bearing on what will happen. What will happen is what is stated in the Bill.

An Leas-Chathaoirleach

Unless the section is altered. The Minister, to reply to Senator Prendergast.

I agree with Senator O'Sullivan. Senator O'Donovan is distinguished in his own profession, but he is not a lawyer. Neither am I, and I have no intention of pontificating as to what the meaning of this is. It is here in black and white —"market value."

Question put and agreed to.
Section 7 agreed to.
SECTION 8.
Question proposed: "That Section 8 stand part of the Bill."

Mr. O'Donovan

This is a very small section as a saver, but it raises the question of the implementation of the Act throughout the remainder of the country in areas other than the intensive areas. It says:—

"Nothing in this Act or any Order made by virtue of this Act shall affect any Orders made before the passing of this Act under the Diseases of Animals Acts, 1894 to 1954."

Therefore, this Bovine Tuberculosis Order, 1926, still remains in force. I referred to that in the discussion on the Second Reading yesterday. There is a problem here which requires clarification also. As I understand it, the areas awaiting intensive eradication will have very little attack on the disease other than what is to be done under that Order. There is £100,000 designated now to augment the work being done under the Order. I do not follow how it can be done without amending the 1926 Order.

It is explained in the explanatory memorandum we had yesterday that compensation under the Order is payable on a certain scale — the owner gets a quarter of the value if it is an advanced case and three-quarters of the value in a non-advanced case and would get full compensation and £1 over, if the veterinary officer made a mistake and slaughtered an animal in the wrong. The intention here is that no matter what amount of disease is in the animal slaughtered, the full compensation will be paid. I do not know how that can be done without altering the Order which is in existence.

Besides that, there are several other sections of the 1926 Order which, to make that £100,000 effective, should be amended. One clause requires that if you take an animal under the Order, it must be one which is suffering from "definite clinical symptoms and chronic cough." This money must be spent under that Order, which exists because there is no provision for amendment. When the animal is slaughtered, full compensation will be paid, but here the man is debarred from dealing with obviously affected animals because they do not comply with the 1926 Order.

This has given us trouble all along, because we say: "What is the most definite clinical symptom of tuberculosis but the chronic cough?" You have other causes, as I mentioned yesterday — enlarged glands which, in 99 cases out of 100, are tubercular. There are such things as Hodgkin's disease which will give enlarged glands also. These cases of discharging tubercular glands quite obviously could not be taken up to the present under the Order because it does not apply to such cases. Therefore, I want the Minister to get this to work.

We hope this work will be done in other than intensive areas or pre-intensive areas — otherwise, the Limerick, Cork and Kerry areas where the incidence of tuberculosis is, we know, the highest. It is in abeyance for the present and I would emphasise that abeyance is a bad business at any time. We may not have enough money to attack it where the incidence is greatest, but we must do our utmost to see that the £100,00 being spent will be spent to the best effect, to get rid of animals other than those which are covered by the present Bovine Tuberculosis Order of 1926, which the Bill now says is to remain and which is not interfered with.

I hope the line the Minister will follow, besides paying full compensation for animals taken under the Bovine Tuberculosis Order, will be to amplify, extend and expand the provisions of that Order so that a greater number of animals can be taken and the dangerous open cases can be taken. The memorandum refers to open cases, but the Bovine Tuberculosis Order does not provide for all open cases. I need not go into detail of the cases covered, but they are not wide enough to do effective work in those areas where nothing else will be done except the accredited herd scheme for the individuals. In the areas where the greatest amount of tuberculosis exists, nothing will be done except what is done voluntarily and what will be done by this £100,000 to clear out cases which come under the Bovine Tuberculosis Order. Under the present definition, not enough cases come under the Bovine Tuberculosis Order. There are many open cases that cannot be dealt with.

The point I want to make is that we should immediately extend and amplify the provisions of the Order to cover a greater number of cases. If this £100,000 can be voted without amendment of the Order, I presume that must be legal, because it has already been announced and the £100,000 is being spent, but it is not sufficient to do good work in the areas where it is impossible to eradicate the disease quickly.

Senator O'Donovan is probably right in regard to the matter of the amendment of the Bovine Tuberculosis Order. I am having the Order examined and will make alterations, if they are necessary.

Question put and agreed to. Sections 9, 10 and 11 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Agreed to take remaining Stages to-day.
Bill reported without amendment, received for final consideration, and passed.