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Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1947

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49 and 50.

asked the Minister of Food (1) since, under the Food and Drugs Act, 1938, all slaughterhouses must be licensed by the local authorities, and no part of an animal slaughtered in a knacker's yard, which requires a local authority licence, may be sold for human consumption, under whose authority licences have been issued for slaughterhouses where horses and ponies are killed for horseflesh for human consumption; and how many of such licences have been, in fact, issued by the appropriate authority;(2) how many shops have been licensed by his Department to sell horseflesh for human consumption, giving the areas where such shops are, in the most convenient manner, and indicating the approximate weight of horseflesh sold each week in each of these areas; and how is the inspection carried out so as to ensure that this horseflesh is fit for human consumption in accordance with the Food and Drugs Act, 1938.

Slaughterhouses are licensed by local authorities to deal with any animal whose flesh is intended for human consumption. I do not therefore know how many have slaughtered horses for horseflesh. Officers of local authorities have power to inspect horseflesh for human consumption at either slaughterhouses or shop and to condemn any they consider unfit for food. I cannot give the other information which the hon. Member wants, because we do not keep central records of shops licensed to sell this relatively unimportant food and there is no information about the quantity of horseflesh sold.