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Volume 941: debated on Wednesday 14 December 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many smaller slaughterhouses he estimates will be put out of business following the application of the new Slaughterhouses (Hygiene) Regulations 1977;

(2) how many representations he has received about the working of the Slaughterhouses (Hygiene) Regulations 1977; and if, in the light of these, he will now reconsider whether the new requirements are inappropriate in relation to butchers' slaughterhouses.

Since the regulations were laid, the General Secretary of the National Federation notified my right hon. Friend the Minister and myself of the memorandum he sent on 1st December to all hon. Members. Subsequently a number of hon. Members have written to my right hon. Friend. Full and lengthy consultation preceded the making of the regulations, which update those of 1958 and 1966. Existing slaughterhouses will have until November 1980 to comply with a number of requirements likely to entail alterations to premises. I cannot predict how many will choose not to do so. The regulations are, however, so framed as to accommodate different scales of production.