HC Deb 18 April 1911 vol 24 cc619-20

asked the Secretary of Stale for the Home Department whether, in selecting the proposed thirty new sub-inspectors of mines and quarries, he would include among the necessary qualifications for those posts some knowledge of the feeding and care of horses necessary to maintain them in a condition of health, vigour, and freedom from pain?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)

The qualifications for the post of sub-inspector have already been settled and published. It would not, in my opinion, be desirable to make it a condition of appointment that a candidate should have expert knowledge of the management of horses; but I have no doubt that the general experience of underground work which is being required will ensure their having sufficient knowledge to enable them to detect ordinary cases of cruelty or neglect. For more difficult matters, it is proposed in the new Bill to empower inspectors to take with them a duly qualified veterinary surgeon, and the recommendation of the Royal Commission which will be carried out by regulations include a proposal for periodical inspection by a veterinary surgeon.


Have those gentlemen, whose business it is to inspect pit ponies and to see to what treatment they are subjected, any qualifications whatever for their work?


The object of the new inspectors is to prevent the loss of human life in mines, and the most important thing is that they should be qualified to deal with the safety of those who work below ground. I do not think it takes very expert veterinary knowledge to see if an animal is being tortured or ill-used. In more difficult cases the superior inspector will be able to call in a veterinary surgeon.