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Factory Farming

Volume 955: debated on Tuesday 24 October 1978

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce legislation to ban factory farming of hens, calves, pigs and other animals so concerned.

The welfare of farm animals kept under intensive and other systems is already protected by section 1 of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 which makes it an offence to cause or permit livestock situated on agricultural land to suffer unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress. Official inspections, which are undertaken by ministry veterinary officers, have found the welfare conditions to be satisfactory in the majority of intensive units, and where they are not fully satisfactory, producers are advised on the steps they should take. Thus, on current information, my right hon. Friend the Minister does not consider that there is need to introduce such legislation.