HC Deb 02 December 1970 vol 807 c1268
13. Mr. Strang

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations he has had with outside bodies about the future of bull and boar licensing in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

The Agricultural Departments consulted representatives of the organisations interested in bull and boar licensing earlier this year.

For the time being there is nothing I can add to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the hon. Member and others on 27th October.—[Vol. 805, c. 5–6.]

Mr. Strang

Is the Minister aware that that Answer is just not good enough? Is not he aware that the present bull and boar licensing regulations are positively hindering livestock improvement in Scotland? Will he consult the Agriculture Research Council and the Animal Breeding Research Organisation on the question? Will he undertake to give due consideration to livestock experts in those bodies, in the Meat and Livestock Commission and the Milk Marketing Board before taking a decision?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

I am aware of the hon. Gentleman's interest in the matter. He must be aware that there is a great conflict of views on the subject. The present Government do not take steps like this without consulting those involved. The consultations are taking place, and when we have completed them we shall come to a decision.

Mr. Brewis

Has my hon. Friend considered how far it might be practicable to transfer these important functions, the licensing of bulls and boards, to the herd-book societies?

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

That is one factor that we shall take into account in our consultations. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising it.