HC Deb 09 November 1953 vol 520 c18W
70. Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport

asked the Minister of Agriculture what advice he has received from his scientific advisers with regard to the present-day methods of caponising cockerels; what severe physiological changes result in birds so treated; and what steps have been taken to ascertain what are the consequences of the heads, necks and offal of such birds being consumed in large quantities by pigs.

Mr. Nugent

My right hon. Friend is advised that the chemical caponisation of cockerels by means of synthetic female sex hormones is a satisfactory method of producing good quality table poultry. The effect of the treatment is to arrest the development of the male characteristics of the bird. It is recommended that the treatment should be discontinued a fortnight before slaughter, and that waste products and offals of birds that have been subjected to this treatment should not be fed to any class of livestock including pigs. This advice is based on an assessment by our scientific advisers of the results of investigations in the United States. There have been, so far as I know, no such investigations in this country.