§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what were the figures for the number of calves slaughtered in England, Wales and Scotland for each month of 1974 to date.
§ Mr. Strang
I give below calf slaughtering figures for England, Wales and Scotland to June 1974 taken from returns from public and licensed slaughterhouses, with provisional results, which are only available for England and Wales combined, for July to September 1974.
GREAT BRITAIN CALF SLAUGHTERINGS (Thousand Head) 1974 England Wales Scotland January 17.2 0.5 2.3 February 17.2 0.6 3.2 March 19.8 0.8 4.1 April 21.4 1.7 4.1 May 14.4 0.8 2.5 June 16.5 1.2 2.2 England and Wales July 23.7* 3.5* August 32.6* 8.5* September 39.3* 8.9* * Provisional.
§ Mr. Warren
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to discourage the slaughter of calves at the rate of 16,800 per week, five times the rate as at the same time last year.
§ Mr. Bishop
Calf slaughtering usually reach their peak at this time of the year. A comparison with last year's figures is misleading as the slaughter rate in 1973 was unusually low. The recent rate is more closely comparable with that in the 1960s when, moreover, the national herd was much smaller. But I recognise that the general beef situation remains serious and we are keeping it continually under review in order to ensure that future home beef production is not endangered.