HC Deb 19 July 1971 vol 821 cc218-21W
Mr. Wiggin

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements he proposes to make to prevent the home market for poultry meat from being undermined by unduly low-priced imports after the existing veterinary controls on imports are changed.

Mr. Prior

: We have now completed our discussions with domestic and overseas interests, and it is our intention to introduce minimum import prices for poultry meat with effect from 1st October, 1971.

My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Secretary of State for Scotland and I will shortly lay before Parliament an Order under Part I of the Agriculture and Horticulture Act, 1964, specifying chicken, duck, turkey, goose and guinea fowl meat as commodities to which minimum import price arrangements can be applied. We shall be laying further Orders before Parliament as soon as possible setting out the levels of the minimum import prices and the arrangements for supporting them by levies.

The minimum import prices will be at he following levels :

Carcases with Giblets Per lb.
Chickens 16p
Turkeys 20p
Ducks and geese 19p
Guinea fowls 35p
Carcases without giblets Per lb.
Chickens 17p
Turkeys 21p
Ducks and geese 20½p
Guinea fowls 36p
Parts on the Bone
Prepacked per lb. Bulk packed per lb.
Halves or quarters 19p 17½p
Wings 12p 10½p
Drumsticks 29p 27½p
Breasts 25½p 24p
Thighs 16p 14½p
Halves or quarters 22p 20½p
Wings 20p 17p
Drumsticks 22p 19½p
Breasts 30p 27p
Thighs 25p 22p
Duck and Goose 24p 22½p
Guinea fowl 41p 38p
Parts off the bone
Dark poultry meat 31½P 30p
Light poultry meat 43p 41½p
Mixed dark and light poultry meat 39p 37½p

The minimum import prices will be supported as necessary by general variable levies.

The minimum import price arrangements will not apply to supplies from Denmark or the Republic of Ireland. The Danish authorities have agreed to cooperate in achieving the objectives of the maximum import price arrangements and have undertaken to limit their exports of poultry meat to the United Kingdom to the following levels : Chicken : not more than 7,500 tons per annum (not more than 750 tons in any one month). Turkey : not more than 1,000 tons per annum (not more than 350 tons in any one month). Duck : not more than 200 tons per annum (not more than 20 tons in any one month). Goose and Guinea fowl : not more than 300 tons per annum (not more than 100 tons in any one month).

Imports of poultry meat from the Republic of Ireland in 1970 were : chicken 267 tons, ducks and geese 146 tons, turkeys 2 tons. It is not expected that they will increase significantly in the coming year. The Governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland have agreed that if imports from the Republic should increase to such an extent as to threaten to undermine the objective of the m.i.p. arrangements there would be further consultation between them with a view to seeking a mutually satisfactory solution.

The operation of the m.i.p. arrangements together with the level of prices will be subject to review annually in the light of conditions in the United Kingdom poultry industry and the trade in poultry meat in the United Kingdom market.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement about future arrangements for veterinary controls over the importation of poultry carcases and offal into Great Britain.

Mr. Prior

: From 1st October, 1971, all imports of poultry carcases and offal will be subject to licence. Those from other parts of the British Isles will be allowed under general licence. Imports from other sources will be considered on the merits of the disease situation in the country of origin. Where imports are allowed from these other sources, they will be confined to dressed carcases or parts of carcases, without accompanying offal. Licences for separate consignments of offal will be considered but only for processing in Great Britain. All consignments of poultry meat and offal will have to be accompanied by official veterinary certification that the birds from which the meat or offal is derived have been examined and found to be healthy both before and after slaughter and that they have not been in contact with significant poultry diseases.

An Order will be made under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1950, to bring these changes into effect.

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