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Calves (Slaughter)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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17.

asked the Minister of Food how many calves have been purchased by his Department for slaughter in the past 12 months; and the numbers in each of the past five years.

As the reply contains a table of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there has been a sharp increase in the slaughterings of calves, and, if so, is he taking any action to stop this premature slaughter, in view of the great need for increasing beef production?

Is the Minister aware that, from the figures in the first week of July for the last seven years, in the county of Herefordshire, the slaughtering of calves shows an increase of 50 per cent., while supplies of beef to collecting centres have decreased by 66 per cent.?

Is it not a fact that there has been a drastic reduction in home-killed beef supplies as against prewar, and is it not time that the right hon. Gentleman and the Minister of Agriculture got together and decided to change the balance of our livestock economy more in favour of home production?

It is true that there is reduction in the home-killed meat supply, but that will be solved as and when we get adequate imports of feedingstuffs, which we are most anxious to do

The following is the reply:

The number of calves purchased for slaughter in the 12 months, July, 1946, to June, 1947, was 1,441,899. For the previous five years the figures are as follow:

July,1945, to June, 19461,374,060
July, 1944, to June, 19451,385,375
July, 1943, to June, 19441,302,190
July, 1942, to June, 19431,253,171
July, 1941, to June, 19421,004,384