HC Deb 13 February 1940 vol 357 cc615-6W
Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that a farmer near Albrighton, who breeds sheep, and has hitherto sold to the local butcher who slaughters and distributes, now has to send his animals eight miles to Shifnal to be graded, and from there has to forward them 16 miles to Wolverhampton to be slaughtered; that the meat has then to come back to Shifnal 16 miles more to be redistributed; and whether he is considering improving these methods of distribution?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I am aware that a farmer at Albrighton who has fat sheep for sale for slaughter has to send them to his nearest collecting centre, which is Shifnal, to be graded for sale there to the Government. Collecting centres have been set up at practically all the fat stock markets in the country, and I do not think there can be any hardship in requiring a farmer to send his fat stock to his nearest market for sale to the Government.

The suggestion that the farmer has to forward the stock from the collecting centre at Shifnal to Wolverhampton for slaughter is not correct. After purchase by the Government at the collecting centre, the farmer has no further responsibilities regarding the stock, which under instructions from my officers is despatched to slaughterhouses according to the needs of the several areas into which the country is divided for the purposes of control. Fat stock purchased at Shifnal are not necessarily sent to Wolverhampton for slaughter. The butchers at Shifnal are supplied with meat from the wholesale depot at Wolverhampton. The working of the scheme in detail is being closely watched with a view to effecting such improvements as experience may prove to be desirable.

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