asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the harm likely to be caused to the livestock Indus- try of this country by the improper or indiscriminate use of artificial insemination, he will take the necessary steps to ensure that this practice is properly controlled?
Yes, Sir. The Agricultural Improvement Council, which, as my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, recently appointed a Committee for the purpose of supervising the initiation and conduct of two large-scale field trials in artificial insemination at Cambridge and Reading, have expressed the view that in order to avoid jeopardising the successful establishment of this practice, steps should be taken to prevent its indiscriminate commercial exploitation. I accordingly propose to ask Parliament at the first convenient opportunity for powers enabling me, in the interests of the livestock industry, to control the practice of artificial insemination by specifying the conditions under which it may be employed and by restricting its use to properly authorised persons in all cases, except where the animals to be inseminated are in the same ownership as the animal providing the semen.