§ 3.6 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent, if at all, the carcases of non-diseased and non-contact animals slaughtered in connection with foot and mouth outbreaks are being placed in cold storage with a view to their being available for human consumption during next winter, when meat may possibly be scarcer than it is at present.]
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES (LORD CARRINGTON)
My Lords, apart from infected animals, whose carcases are destroyed. only animals which are known or believed to have been in contact with them are slaughtered. The extra meat thus obtained is more than offset by the reduction in the total quantity of meat available as a result of hold-up in normal slaughterings due to the restrictions on the movement of livestock.
I am obliged to the noble Lord for his answer. Arising out of it, may I ask him whether the Government do not think it would be wise to provide local cold storage to accommodate excessive slaughtering, thereby preventing Her Majesty's Government, perhaps at an awkward time, from being at the mercy of a sudden outbreak of this disease?
§ LORD CARRINGTON
My Lords, most of the cold stores in use in this country are not designed to extract the heat from freshly killed carcases, but are used for storing imported chilled and frozen meat. So we use the freshly killed carcases for our normal ration instead of issuing the frozen foods from the cold stores.