§ Mr. Bagier
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the arrangements which the Meat and Livestock Commission is making for the continuation of pig carcase classification.
§ Mr. Peart
The Meat and Livestock Commission has developed and is now operating an effective system of pig carcase classification and, under the terms 339W of the Agriculture Act 1967, it recommended to Agriculture Ministers that this system should now be put on a statutory basis. In the light of representations from all sides of the industry that the fullest co-operation of those concerned would be best secured under voluntary arangements I invited the Commission to consider proceeding on a voluntary basis. Following further discussion with the representatives of the industry the Commission now proposes to introduce a voluntary scheme to be funded by charges on participants. This scheme has the support of the industry organisations directly concerned.
My colleagues and I regard it as essential that there should be a continuing, effective national system of pig carcase classification, and if the response of the industry to a voluntary scheme does not result in a sufficient level of uptake to secure this objective we will wish to reconsider the position with a view to proceeding with a statutory scheme.