§ Sir Peter Mills
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to assist the poultry industry.
§ Mr. MacGregor
Aid for improving the marketing and processing of poultrymeat and eggs is available in Scotland and Northern Ireland under EC regulation 355/77; a programme for England and Wales is under discussion with the industry. It is also open to firms in the poultrymeat processing industry to apply for assistance under the Industrial Development Act 1982 and the Science and Technology Act 1965.
From 1 June, we have been remitting the cost of veterinary inspections in poultry slaughterhouse and cutting plants which apply the EC health mark and in cold stores used for export consignments of poultrymeat. I would be prepared to press the European Commission for increases in refunds if the industry could demonstrate that this would lead to increased exports to third countries.
Substantial quantities of wheat and barley have been sold from United Kingdom intervention stocks in recent weeks, and poultry producers have access to these additional supplies. Negotiations are in progress on arrangements for making intervention wheat available for animal feed next season.