HC Deb 19 November 1987 vol 122 cc1191-2
8. Mr. Greg Knight

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress there has been on the abolition of veal crates.

Mr. Donald Thompson

My hon. Friend will no doubt be aware that regulations to abolish veal crates were approved by the House yesterday and will be the subject of a debate in another place today.

Mr. Knight

Will my hon. Friend confirm that the regulations will require that calves be free to turn around without difficulty, and will also make provision to ensure that they receive a balanced diet? In addition, will he give a pledge to the House that the Government will support the tabling of a calf welfare directive in Europe?

Mr. Thompson

I shall give my hon. Friend all those assurances—especially the last one.

Mr. Morley

Has the Minister further considered the regulations as they apply to battery hens and cage sizes? Do the Government have any plans to amend the law and lay down recommendations for increased sizes or battery hen cages?

Mr. Thompson

The hon. Gentleman missed the pleasure of our debate with the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) yesterday, when we went into a great deal of detail about battery hens and cage sizes. The minimum size—and width— for a cage has been laid down for Europe, but minimum sizes above and beyond that are laid down in this country for cages holding one, two or three birds.

Forward to