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Hill Sheep

Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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52.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if, where hill farmers have lost sheep and suffered deterioration in their flocks through malnutrition, he will introduce a scheme for the provision of extra coupons for all stock during the summer months to aid their recovery.

Although it may be necessary in exceptional circumstances, when they are brought down from the hills in severe weather or for lambing, the feeding of concentrates to hill sheep is not a usual practice and such feeding would be detrimental to the characteristics of the flocks. Moreover, it would be impracticable to take such feed to the ewes when they are on the hills.

As it is almost impossible to find any way of helping these people practically, because we cannot give them back the sheep, will the Minister realise that he can help them materially by giving them every possible feedingstuff for their stocks, not only sheep?

The hon. Gentleman must be aware that we have taken all the feedingstuffs we could lay our hands on to the hills to help the hill farmers to feed their flocks and herds; and the hon. Gentleman must also he aware that hill sheep must be as nearly self supporting as possible, otherwise their main purpose fails.