HC Deb 09 May 1972 vol 836 cc324-5W
Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has approved the proposed intensive rearing of sheep by methods that will result in the ewes spending their lives in totally enclosed buildings and having their mating periods controlled by being subjected to up to 18 hours of artificial light, with the object of increasing their yearly yield of lambs by three and a half times the figure in natural conditions.

Mr. Peter Mills

I understand that the work described in a recent Press report is being undertaken for research purposes. I am not aware that any farmer has proposed to set up such a unit commercially, but he would not require the sanction of the Agriculture Ministers before doing so. His premises, like those of any livestock farmer, would, I can assure my hon. Friend, be subject to inspection by my Department's veterinary staff to check that livestock were not suffering unnecessary pain or distress.