Compensation for animals reacting to tuberculin test; appraisals
Section 33. Except as otherwise provided, a person who has animals tested with tuberculin shall not be entitled to compensation from the commonwealth for any animals which react to the tuberculin test unless they have been tested by the director or qualified veterinarians acting under his authorization and have been owned and kept by the owner applying for the test on the premises where tested for a period of not less than sixty days next prior to the date of said test or have been admitted to the herd on a test approved by the director. The director may prescribe rules and regulations for the inspection of cattle by the application of the tuberculin test and for the segregation, sale or slaughter of reacting animals; but no inspection by the application of such test shall be made unless an agreement has previously been entered into for such inspection and application with the owner of the animals, except as provided in section thirty-three B. If, in the opinion of the director, any of the animals react to the test and are slaughtered in consequence thereof, the owner shall be reimbursed by the commonwealth in the manner hereinafter provided. The director may appoint persons to make appraisals of reacting cattle in conjunction with the owner or his authorized representative. Such appraisal shall be subject to the rights of arbitration and petition set forth in section thirty-one; provided, that the award or damages shall be within the limits prescribed by this section. The commonwealth shall, within thirty days after the filing in the office of the director of a valid claim for reimbursement in pursuance of such an appraisal or of an award under section thirty-one, pay to the owner of any animal slaughtered under authority of any rules or regulations made hereunder, or to any mortgagee or assignee designated in writing by said owner, two thirds of the difference between the amount received by the owner for the carcass of the animal and the value of the animal as determined by appraisal as aforesaid; provided, that payment by the commonwealth hereunder shall not exceed two hundred dollars for any grade animal or two hundred and fifty dollars for any pure-bred animal; and provided, further, that no payment shall be made for any animal if, since the previous test, the owner or his representative has violated the rules and regulations made hereunder; and provided, further, that the owner or his representative has not unlawfully or improperly obtained or attempted to obtain reimbursement for any animal; and provided, further, that the owner or his representative has not, in the opinion of the director, by wilful act or neglect, contributed to the spread of bovine tuberculosis. If the federal government undertakes to pay part of the cost of any animal destroyed, as provided in this section, the payment by the commonwealth shall be limited to the difference between the payment authorized by the federal government and the payment hereinbefore provided.