HC Deb 06 August 1976 vol 916 cc1102-3W
Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has reached a decision concerning the future of statutory bull licensing.

Mr. Strang

For many years there has been a significant body of opposition in Great Britain to the continuation of statutory bull licensing. This opposition bas tended to increase since the introduction in 1972 of the present scheme and has caused the interested organisations to re-examine their own attitudes to licensing.

It is apparent from the views ex-.pressed that there is relatively little support for continuation of the present arrangements. Since statutory bull licensing was introduced in the early 1930s its importance has diminished with the commercial exploitation of artificial insemination and it is not now considered to make a significant contribution to the improvement of the national herd. My right hon. Friends the Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland have therefore decided that the present legislation should be suspended. An Order giving effect to this decision will be laid before Parliament shortly.