§ MR. JOYCE (Limerick)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any official reports showing how far the regulations made by the Departmental Committee on cross-channel transit of live stock have been carried out in respect to vessels engaged in the live stock carrying trade between Ireland and Great Britain; whether he can state how many prosecutions have been instituted for violations of those regulations; whether he is aware that complaints are made respecting the survey of those vessels; and whether he can take measures to prevent suffering being inflicted on live stock through neglect of the regulations.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, Leeds, Central)
This Question is one which concerns the Board of Agriculture, from whom I have received the following reply. The carriage of live stock between England and Ireland is regulated by the Animals (Transit and General) Order of 1895, and a corresponding Order for Ireland, which embody as far as is possible the recommendations of the Departmental Committee which sat in the previous year. The trade in question is kept under close and continuous observation by Inspectors of the Board of Agriculture and of the Irish Department of Agriculture, additions to the staff having been authorised for the purpose. It is not possible to give any statistics of the number of prosecutions which have taken place for offences against the Order. 1514 They may be instituted both by the local authorities and by private individuals. As a rule, however, the representations made from time to time to owners of vessels have been satisfactorily met, and the need for prosecution has therefore not generally arisen. No complaints respecting the survey of vessels appear to have been received. The two Departments concerned are most anxious to do all that is practicable to prevent the occurrence of loss and suffering in connection with the trade, and would be glad to receive any suggestions and recommendations which those concerned may be able to make for its improvement.