Calf Slaughterings

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1967.

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Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland 12:00 am, 29th November 1967

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether the increased level of calf slaughterings is in accordance with the selective expansion programme as outlined in the National Plan.

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

Many of the extra calves kept for rearing in 1964 and 1965, when slaughterings were almost halved, proved to be overcostly to fatten and made poor quality beef. A return this year to a more selective approach is not inconsistent with the declared objectives of the Plan.

Photo of Mr Michael Jopling Mr Michael Jopling , Westmorland

In view of the high rate and cost of slaughtering this year would not a more honest answer to my Question have been "No"?

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

I do not understand the meaning of that supplementary question. I have already, in reply to an earlier Question, expressed my regret at the calf slaughtering. What is true is that the number of breeding cows is increasing in the dairy herd in England and Wales and in the bed herd in Scotland and Northern Ireland. I can now confirm the figure I gave off the cuff just now. In 1967 the herd was 230,000 more in the United Kingdom than it was in 1964.

Mr. J. T. Price:

Yes, but does not this increased slaughtering of calves suggest another aspect of the matter, that a lot of hon. Members in the House know that a great many calves are being produced under rather inhumane factory methods to provide delicacies for expensive hotels, and manufactured foods, and that many Members of this House have the strongest objection to those methods?

Photo of Mr James Hoy Mr James Hoy , Edinburgh Leith

What I am interested in is that more calves are being retained. I think that this is the best way to make a contribution to our stock, and to the farming community.