HC Deb 25 April 1955 vol 540 cc591-3
8. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many abattoirs have been built in the United Kingdom since 1940; where they are situated; and what is the future policy in this respect.

Mr. Amory

As the reply contains a list of places, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Dodds

Why has the Minister been so long and so complacent about this serious situation? Is it not a fact that the abattoirs built by the Ministry of Food are not known for their economy, hygiene or efficiency, and is it not time that something was done to make this Inter-departmental Committee get out its report, because it is holding up municipalities from building the up-to-date abattoirs that are still needed?

Mr. Amory

I should like to assure the hon. Member that, very far from being complacent about the present slaughterhouse position, I very much look forward to receiving this report.

Mr. Dodds

The right hon. Gentleman said it would be early in the year.

Mr. Amory

I had hoped that it would be earlier in the year, but, as I subsequently told the House, the Committee concerned found that the position all over the country, as a result of the operation of the auctions, was changing so rapidly that it had again to reconsider the matter. I am afraid it means that I am unlikely to receive the report for another two months.

Following is the reply:

In England and Wales, seven slaughterhouses have been built by the Government, two by local authorities and 18 by private individuals. They are situated as follows:

Canterbury. Salisbury.
Fareham. Swindon.
Grimsby. Wimborne.
Local Authorities
Scunthorpe. Plymouth.
Private Individuals
*Birmingham. Luton.
Bishop Auckland. North Witchford
Bridlington. Risca.
Camborne-Redruth. St. Asaph.
Chard. Shaftesbury.
Chesterton. South
Disley. Cambridgeshire
Egham. Truro.
*Horsham. Waltham Holy Cross.
(* A bacon factory slaughterhouse.)

In addition, 58 premises have been adapted by private individuals for slaughtering.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland informs me that one pig slaughterhouse for bacon has been built in 1955 at Kirkcudbright and a major reconstruction of the slaughterhouse was completed at Inverurie in 1953.

In Northern Ireland, four new pig slaughterhouses have been built at Ballylummin, Enniskillen, Agivey and Charlemont and at four other places premises have been adapted for the slaughter of pigs.

Future policy for England and Wales must await the report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Slaughterhouses for England and Wales. In the meantime my consent under the provisions of Section 3 (2) of the Slaughterhouse Act, 1954, for the provision of any new private slaughterhouses is given only in exceptional circumstances where no other facilities are available and as an interim measure pending the implementation of the long-term policy.