Armistice 100: Butchers up in arms over ‘fresh meat for POWs’ revelation

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As the effects of rationing bit deeper into the bones of the ordinary man and woman, concerns were raised over the practise of slaughtering cattle to feed German prisoners.

At a meeting of the Federation of Retail Butchers’ Associations in Leeds, it was reported that at the Skipton Auction Mart, the Allocation Committee, on the authority of a Government certificate, allotted a certain number of live stock to be slaughtered for the German prisonsers now at Skipton Camp,

In the motion of Mr F Wellcok (Bradford), seconded by Mr I Stephenson (Leeds), a resolution was unanimously adopted protesting against the allocation of live stock for German prisoners when abundant supplies of frozen meat are available. “The British public”, the motion read, “should not be deprived of English meat and be compelled to accept frozen, while the German prisoners are consuming meat of a better quality.”

Butchers were also in the news for another reason, this time for failing give customers a chance to check the weights of meats being sold and additionally for overchanrging. This was particularly rife in Leeds, according to the article from the day.

The article railed: “Everybody knows the butcher who picks up a joint, bangs it on the scale, has it off again before you can say ‘Jack Robinson’ and says it’s ‘so much’. He was with us in pre-war times and he is still with us, coupons and fixed prices notwithstanding.”

It went on: “The authorities are doing very little to check the evil.”

The complaints were made to the Leeds Food Control Committee, who vowed to investigate.