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Animals (Slaughtering)

Volume 481: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1950

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asked the Minister of Food how many reports alleging cruelty have been made by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to his Department concerning animals at collecing centres, in transit at lairages or at slaughterhouses during the past 12 months; and how many animals were involved.

The inspectors of the R.S.P.C.A. are in constant touch with my local officers at markets and slaughterhouses to prevent cruelty. I cannot say how much of their work dealt with actual complaints or how many animals are involved. I am quite sure, however, that this local co-operation is successful in reducing the number of cases of cruelty to an extremely small proportion of the total number of animals handled. But I would also like to report that one of my senior officials has discussed with the secretary of the Society the general question of liaison with the R.S.P.C.A. and a clear cut procedure is being devised which should ensure that the existing friendly local co-operation with slaughterhouse and market authorities is maintained and fostered. In the event of any difference of opinion on the spot the Society's inspectors will have access to my area meat and livestock officers (the senior administrative officer in each area) and if the Society still think that all practicable steps have not been taken to meet any complaints their headquarters will take the matter up with my headquarters.

Could not trouble of this kind be avoided if there were adequate facilities for dealing with the increasing number of cattle, pigs and sheep which we are now producing, particularly at the peak period of the year?


asked the Minister of Food how many sheep and lambs have been sent from Yorkshire and Lancashire to Norfolk for slaughter during the past three months; and what was the average time between collection from the farm and slaughter.

During the three months ended 18th November, 2,259 sheep and lambs were sent for slaughter from Yorkshire to Norfolk but none from Lancashire. On average two days elapsed between purchase at the collecting centres and slaughter.

Is not it a waste to send the younger lambs so far before they are slaughtered? Is not there a wastage of weight, and is not this liable to involve cruelty?

So long as we have to maintain the rationing system, I am afraid that circumstances of this kind are unavoidable.