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Volume 885: debated on Tuesday 4 February 1975

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many dairy farmers in the United Kingdom and in Shropshire, respectively, have taken up the EEC Dairy Herd Conversion Scheme; and what has been the estimated effect on milk production.

The latest return for the United Kingdom shows that 3,598 producers have taken up this scheme in respect of 129,383 dairy cows. The figures for Shropshire are 118 producers with 4,294 dairy cows. It is not possible to estimate precisely the effect of the scheme on milk production, because many of these producers would have left milk production anyway and many of their better milk animals are now to be found in other dairy herds.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on his plans for controlling the sale of raw milk; and what is the expected consequences for producer-retailers.

As I said in my reply to the hon. Member for Wallsend (Mr. Garrett) on 29th November 1974—[Vol. 882, c. 265]—my right hon. Friends and I are consulting the interests concerned on proposals for future policy in relation to the sale of untreated milk for human consumption. Plans cannot be settled until these consultations have been completed.