HC Deb 19 November 1941 vol 376 cc339-40W
Mr. Leslie

asked the Minister of Health whether any provision is made to see that horseflesh is fit for human consumption before it is allowed to be sold in the shops?

Miss Horsbrugh

Under the Food and Drugs Act, 1938, the business of slaughtering animals, including horses, for human consumption, requires a licence granted by the local authority. Further, it is an offence not only to sell, but to have in possession for sale, or to consign to any person for that purpose, any food, including horseflesh, intended for but unfit for human consumption. Officers of local authorities have full powers to inspect such food and if necessary seize it with a view to condemnation.

Mr. Keeling

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether a maximum price for all horseflesh can now be fixed?

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether he has received information from local food control committees of the large increase in applications for licences to trade in horseflesh for human consumption; whether he proposes to authorise or restrict the number of such licences; and can he state the reason for the delay in issuing a horseflesh, retail sales, maximum price order?

Major Lloyd George

The answer to the first part of the Question of my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster (Mr. E. Walkden) is in the negative. As regards the second part of the Question, food control committees issue licences for new businesses only where it is established that these are necessary in the public interest. As regards the last part of the Question, the delay has been caused by the difficulties in ascertaining the date for the formulation of the proposals, information on which is not readily obtained. A Maximum Prices Order for horseflesh for human consumption will, however, be made at a very early date.