§ Lord HOUGHTON of SOWERBY
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the export of live animals to European countries is a contributory cause of present shortages of hides in the British tanning industry and, if so, what is the estimated effect upon supplies and prices of leather goods.
§ The MINISTER of STATE, DEPARTMENT of INDUSTRY (Viscount Trenchard)
The factors which have affected the availability of hides and skins to United Kingdom tanners are varied. It is not possible to assess the effect of the export of live animals on hide availability. The downturn in the numbers of bovine animals and the export of hides are other factors which need to be taken into account. Imports of hides are a further factor.
Neither is it possible to estimate the effect of those individual factors upon 598WA supplies and prices of leather goods but dates for supply of leather to the leather-goods and footwear industries are lengthening and prices of such goods are increasing as a result of a combination of all these factors.
Most of the increase in live exports is of very young animals whose hides will be available on the European market in future years.