HC Deb 21 March 1940 vol 358 c2156W
Captain Medlicott

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the widespread concern relative to the method of branding pigs for grading purposes; and whether he is considering the immediate introduction of a more humane alternative method of classification?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply which I gave on 14th March to my hon. Friend the Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison).

Lieut.-Commander Tufnell

asked the Minister of Food whether, in connection with the marking of pigs, he can state what alternative methods of marking have been put up to him and rejected by his Department; and whether, if the actual weight of the pigs was settled before they were killed and then payment made, there would be any necessity for marking the animals at all?

Mr. Morrison

Before deciding upon the ear-marking method which is at present in use, my Department considered the following alternative methods of marking: ear-tabs, flesh-marking, scissors clip (in the hair) and paint mark. In the light of practical experience in the use of these types of mark, they were rejected as unsuitable for the purpose in view, i.e., the identification of ownership of pigs after passing through the various factory processes to which the carcases are subjected before weighing. As regards the last part of the Question purchase by live weight might avoid the necessity for an identification mark of the type referred to but there are serious practical and administrative difficulties in the adoption of such a course.

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