asked the Minister of Food to what extent his officers check farmer-dealers' stock sheets; whether they try to trace beasts taken to the grading centre and brought away again; what checks are made on pig clubs, when excessive numbers of pigs are killed, to ascertain if they actually feed all their stock, and on butchers' buying permits, when such permits have increased to a considerable extent over short periods; and how far these efforts have been successful in stopping illegal sales of meat.
As this Question calls for a very long answer, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Following is the statement:
I will answer this Question point by point. First, local authorities are responsible for enforcing and checking the registers which farmers are required to keep under the Ministry of Agriculture's Movement of Animals (Records) Order, 1925, but our officers consult them where necessary. Secondly, inquiries are made about the disposal of animals withdrawn from grading if it is suspected that they are to be sold for slaughter illegally for human consumption. Thirdly, pig clubs are subject to the same regulations about registration and slaughter as other self-suppliers, and the same procedure is followed in both cases to see that the conditions of the scheme are observed. Fourthly, meat authorisations to butchers are completed weekly or on the basis of registrations and other requirements, and are drawn up by our local officers who, with their local knowledge, report any irregularities. Fifthly, I am satisfied that these and the other measures which we take help to curb illegal sales of meat.