§ 61. Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if he can state what proportion of the 65,700 horses valued at £1,580,000, now annually exported to foreign countries, are sent out of this country for purposes of slaughter, and what proportion for domestic and military purposes, respectively; and whether he has any means of ascertaining to what extent those exported avowedly for slaughter are in fact slaughtered on their arrival in foreign countries?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
No precise information is available as to the purposes for which horses are exported from this country, but the hon. Member will find in 2288 Table 149, of Part IV. of the Agricultural Returns for 1911 (Cd. 6385), classified information as to the value of the horses and the countries to which they are consigned, which throws considerable light upon the question. The Board have no information as to the extent to which horses are in fact slaughtered on their arrival abroad.
§ Mr. MEYSEY-THOMPSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that a large number of the horses apparently exported for the purpose of slaughter are actually used in the country in which they arrive, because they are in bad condition when they arrive and are unfit to be killed?
§ 63. Mr. C. BATHURST
asked what was the number of worn-out, decrepit, and otherwise unfit horses whose exportation from British ports to Holland, Belgium, and other Continental countries was prevented on the ground of cruelty by local authorities or the Board during the twelve months prior to the commencement of the Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, on the 1st October, 1910, and during each of the two completed years since that date; and how many prosecutions in connection with such traffic have taken place during each of the said three periods?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
One thousand and sixteen horses intended for shipment to the Continent were rejected by the Board's inspectors at the ports during the year ended on 30th September, 1911, and 1,096 during the year ended on 30th September last. The Board have no information as to the extent to which action was taken by the local authorities or by the police before the arrival of the horses at the wharves from which they were intended to be shipped, either before the commencement of the Act of 1910 or subsequently. The Board have no record of the number of prosecutions which have taken place in connection with this traffic.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
Do I understand that the number of decrepit horses exported has increased since the Diseases of Animals Act came into force?