§ 42. Mr. LONG
asked the President of the Board of Agriculture if his attention has been called to the conditions still prevailing in the trade in decrepit horses consigned to Antwerp and other foreign ports; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that the Diseases of Animals Act shall be strictly carried out and that the examination of the horses should be more carefully conducted?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The conditions under which horses are exported to foreign countries are kept constantly under review by the Board and their officers. All complaints are carefully investigated, and the information of the Board is that the provisions of the Act are strictly enforced, and that the horses are thoroughly examined before shipment. If the right hon. Gentleman can supply me with evidence to the contrary, I will inquire into it.
§ Mr. KILBRIDE
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether decrepit horses are, after a short time, returned to this country, and whether they come back in the shape of sausages or tinned meat?
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the local authorities at these Eastern ports have a vested interest in the continuance of this objectionable traffic, and that, therefore, it more than ever requires the supervision of his Department?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The inspectors of the Board of Agriculture inspect the horses which are sent abroad, and also the vessels in which they travel, quite irrespective of local interests, which tend to complicate the matter.
§ Sir W. BYLES
May I be allowed to supply the right hon. Gentleman with the evidence of eye-witnesses?