§ Mr. Home Robertson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many laying hens producing eggs for human consumption there were on British farms in(a) September 1988 and (b) September 1989; and how many individual flocks of such poultry there were on the same dates.
§ Mr. Curry
Information is not available in the form requested.
Details of the numbers of fowls laying eggs for human consumption, and the number of holdings in Great Britain on which laying fowls are recorded, taken from the agricultural census which is held in June each year, are given in the table.
Year Number of fowls producing eggs for eating (millions) Number of holdings (thousands) 1988 33.931 38.2 19891 31.216 36.6 1 Provisional.
Very small holdings which make only occasional returns are excluded from these figures.
§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he anticipates announcing modifications to the Testing of Poulty Flocks Order to assist the smaller egg producer.
§ Mr. Curry
The Poultry Laying Flocks (Testing and Registration etc.) Order 1989 came into operation on 26 October 1989, replacing the provisions in the Testing of Poultry Flocks Order 1989 which related to flocks producing eggs for human consumption. The new order reduces the required frequency of sampling and provides for a simpler sampling method involving the collection of droppings. These changes will, without compromising the protection of public health, lead to a considerable reduction in the cost of testing, particularly for small flocks.396W
the disease to cattle. Investigations into the cause of breakdowns are carried out as quickly as is practicable and the word recently is not used.