§ Mr. GEORGE GREENWOOD
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the case of William Taylor, who was convicted at the Hull Police Court on or about 2nd May last of cruelty to a mare by causing it to be travelled in an unfit state; whether he is aware that evidence was then given that the animal was walking on her heels and was in the greatest pain, both feet being full of inflammation and there being a hole through one foot; whether, nevertheless, after the animal had been stopped by the inspector of the Hull and East Riding Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and before the hearing of the charge, the mare was passed by the inspector appointed by the Board of Agriculture under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, as fit to be sent abroad and was actually shipped to a foreign country; whether at the hearing of the case the stipendiary magistrate expressed the opinion that the inspection on behalf of the Board was practically worthless; and whether he will take steps to institute a proper system of inspection at this and other ports in order that the intention of the Legislature may be duly carried into effect?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of AGRICULTURE (Sir E. Strachey)
The facts connected with the original prosecution are correct so far as they go, but are not complete, seeing that the stipendiary, after hearing the explanation of the veterinary inspector employed by the Board and of the shipment officer, stated in open court for the information of the Press that he was satisfied that the examination made by Colonel Longhurst was no perfunctory examination, but a careful one. There is now considerable doubt whether the mare examined by Colonel Longhurst and exported was in fact the same mare as that to which the legal proceedings related. Such evidence as is available goes to show 1376 that it cannot have been the same mare, but it is not probable that any absolute evidence of this will come to light.