HC Deb 24 June 1952 vol 502 cc2009-10
26. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many licensed slaughterhouses are situated in England and Wales; if he will give the number and location of those in the London area; and what steps he is taking to prevent the slaughtering of horses in unlicensed slaughterhouses.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Local authorities are not required to make returns of the number of slaughterhouses licensed by them, and central records are not therefore available. Responsibility for enforcing the law regarding the slaughter of animals rests by statute with the local authorities.

Mr. Johnson

In view of his position as Minister of Local Government, and in view of the widespread concern on both sides of the House at the killing of horses in circumstances of horrible brutality in unlicensed slaughterhouses, will my right hon. Friend instruct local authorities to take the most energetic steps to track down any unlicensed premises so that the people concerned may be brought to justice?

Mr. Macmillan

I fully agree, but perhaps my hon. Friend would wait for a statement in reply to a Question which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is about to make, when he will try to deal with all the different responsibilities of the different Departments, which will be a better moment to survey the problem as a whole.