HC Deb 25 November 1964 vol 702 cc1267-8
28. Mr. R. W. Elliott

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many abattoirs in England and Wales have not yet reached the standards laid down in the Slaughterhouses Act, 1958.

Mr, George Mackie

About 115 out of a total of 2,450 slaughterhouses.

Mr. Elliott

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that when the Slaughterhouses Bill was before the House the period of four years then laid down during which slaughterhouses were to be brought up to standard was considered by many of us to be more than adequate? Will he in these early days of his period in office look into the reasons for delay in such places as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where present humane conditions are deplorable?

Mr. Mackie

The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that four weeks is not a long time in which to do much about slaughterhouses of the size of that at Newcastle. I know the position at Newcastle. There have been certain difficulties there, but they have been ironed out with a considerable amount of good will on the part of my Department and the Newcastle Corporation particularly. I am looking into the matter and will do my best to ensure that there is no undue delay.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is my hon. Friend aware that bad conditions in slaughterhouses are largely due to the policy of right hon. and hon. Members opposite in putting an end to concentration of slaughterhouses after the war?

Mr. Mackie

Yes. I think that is a fairly correct statement.

Mr. Soames

Does that mean that the hon. Gentleman is seeking to bring about a fresh concentration of slaughterhouses?

Mr. Mackie

It does not necessarily mean that, but there might be a case for it.