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Volume 884: debated on Thursday 23 January 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the arrangements for the promotion of the growth and conservation of grass in marginal and hill areas in the light of the fodder shortage of the current winter.

My ADAS officers are under general instructions to give this matter their special attention. The 50 per cent. capital grant for hill land improvements and the 70 per cent. grant for drainage of hill land are designed to promote grassland production, and the capital and production grants generally available also make a contribution.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that contingency plans for feeding farm animals and ponies are working satisfactorily in view of the shortage of fodder.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply earlier today to the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Hicks) and the hon. Member for Dorset West (Mr. Spicer). The slight improvement in fodder supplies and measures we have taken to help livestock producers should ease the position generally. Responsibility for feeding animals is the owner's.