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Self-Suppliers' Pigs (Inspection)

Volume 486: debated on Monday 9 April 1951

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79 and 80.

asked the Minister of Food (1) whether he will instruct local food offices to supply the public health departments in their areas with details of applications to slaughter pigs which have been reared under the self-suppliers of pigs scheme;(2) whether he is aware that under the self-suppliers of pigs scheme pigs are slaughtered at irregular times and on private premises, and that the carcases cannot be inspected and examined for possible disease by the local authorities; and whether he will consider amending the Food and Drugs Act, 1938, so as to allow for such inspection.

I think we should reserve the question of amendments to the Act for consideration in the light of the Report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Meat Inspection, which will be published shortly.The present position is that authorised officers of local authorities have power to examine the carcase of any pig which is to be sold in whole or in part for human consumption. They have no power, except at the request of the owner, to examine a pig which is not intended for sale. We would not be justified therefore in requiring food offices to notify public health departments of applications made solely for food control purposes. Self-suppliers would be wise, in their own interests, to arrange for inspection at the time of slaughter whether by a private veterinary surgeon or by an official where the local authority is able to provide the necessary service.