HC Deb 02 April 1900 vol 81 cc939-40

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether the regulations of the War Office require that horses for the use of the Regular Army and the Yeomanry shall be carried by rail in open cattle-trucks instead of in horse-boxes, and shall be so carried without rugs or clothing; whether he is aware that, during the recent severe weather, the adoption of this regulation has caused serious injury to horses, especially clipped horses, involving considerable pecuniary loss, and whether reports have been received from remount officers condemning the regulation above referred to as cruel and uneconomical; and whether the officials of the department who have the charge of transport will be given a discretion in proper cases to provide clothing, and to allow the horses to be carried in horse-boxes instead of in cattle trucks.


The regulations provide for the conveyance of horses in cattle-trucks, which during severe weather are to be covered with tarpaulin sheets. Last December, however, instructions were given to cover the trucks with tarpaulin sheets in all cases, and the issue of horse blankets has been ordered for all horses travelling by rail during inclement weather. Since these orders have been issued there have been no complaints from remount officers, but discretion is left them to use horse-boxes in special cases if necessary. It is usually not possible to use horse-boxes when large numbers of horses have to be transported at once, because the necessary rolling stock cannot be collected.