HC Deb 25 May 1966 vol 729 cc458-9
30. Mr. Walters

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is satisfied with the effects of charges imposed in January for the veterinary certification of chicks for export; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Mackie

The new arrangements referred to have brought the practice for members of the Poultry Health Scheme into line with the rest of the livestock industry. We have received representations on this matter from the Poultry Stock Association and have undertaken to take into account the points they have made.

Mr. Walters

Bearing in mind the amount of money spent by the industry on research to develop this form of export and the small profit margin owing to the high level of competition, and the fact that these exports have a value of nearly £750 million and good prospects of increasing further, should not the hon. Gentleman remove this disincentive immediately? The Minister is on the one hand exhorting the industry to export and on the other hand making it virtually impossible to do so.

Mr. Mackie

No, Sir; we are giving an export incentive anyway, as the hon. Gentleman knows. After all, this is a small matter which is being brought into line with all the rest. It is in line with Government policy that a service like this has to be paid for.