HC Deb 17 July 1958 vol 591 cc1412-3
8. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied with the progress of the efforts to ensure that 100 per cent. of the meat passing through slaughterhouses is inspected; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Godber

The replies to a questionnaire recently issued by my Ministry indicate that local authorities have made considerable progress during the last eighteen months, and that as much as 90 per cent. of the meat passing through slaughterhouses is now inspected. Local authorities are to be congratulated on this encouraging rate of progress, and my right hon. Friend is satisfied that they are doing their best to maintain this progress and to raise the standard of inspection despite the great pressure on inspecting staff in many areas.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is the Minister aware that this Answer gives rise to very great satisfaction and should be a source of congratulation to all concerned, including his own Ministry?

Mr. Godber

I am most grateful.

Dr. Stross

Would the Minister also take steps to see that there is ante-mortem inspection of cattle? Is he aware that post-mortem inspection of meat alone is not sufficient to protect the public health?

Mr. Godber

I am aware of the hon. Member's feelings about this. We discussed the subject at some length during the current Session. At the moment I think we must concentrate on postmortem inspection, but I do not set that as an end to all inspection. I realise the importance of what he said.

Mr. Willey

While I appreciate the progress which has been made, may I ask whether the hon. Member recognises that 10 per cent. is still a very large amount of meat? Can he tell us what has happened to the Slaughterhouses Bill? Is he aware that it disappeared into another place and that we have heard no more about it?

Mr. Godber

The hon. Member says that 10 per cent. is a large amount of meat. This is an increase of 10 per cent. on what I was telling him a short time ago and I take it that his reference to the 10 per cent. is as a congratulation to me. The progress of the Slaughterhouses Bill is very wide of this Question.