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Pig And Sheep Marketing

Volume 884: debated on Thursday 23 January 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now cease requiring the mutilation of pigs by ear-punching and sheep by notching, in view of the fact that this was required for subsidy payments which are no longer in operation.

The law at present requires any animal certified under the Fatstock Guarantee Scheme to be permanently marked in the prescribed fashion. I am aware that the special payments on pigs and the guarantee payments on sheep have ceased and will consider whether this is an appropriate time to introduce the amending legislation needed to enable us to suspend ear-punching in periods when market prices are safely above subsidy levels.