asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what are the reasons for the decline in the numbers of beef cattle in the United Kingdom between 1975 and 1981.
In the mid-1970s, United Kingdom beef cattle numbers were at record levels and marketing proved difficult. The specialist beef herd has since fallen in numbers. More recently, however, profitability has recovered and there are signs that the decline has slowed down. Beef producers should be encouraged by the measures which we negotiated in the context of this year's price fixing, in particular the improvements in the beef premium scheme, and by our decision to maintain the level of the suckler cow subsidy.