HC Deb 22 February 1921 vol 138 cc746-7
33. Mr. GWYNNE

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the Continental traffic in worn-out horses; and what steps he has taken to see that these horses are in a fit state to travel and are properly cared for during the crossing and on landing?

Commander EYRES-MONSELL (Treasurer of the Household)

I have been asked to reply to this question. The Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, as amended by the Exportation of Horses Act, 1914, prohibits the shipment of any horse from any port in Great Britain to any port on the Continent unless it has been examined immediately before shipment by a veterinary inspector of the Ministry of Agriculture, and certified by him to be fit to travel and also fit to work without suffering. It is therefore illegal to ship any horses incapable of passing this test. Veterinary inspectors have been appointed by the Ministry at all the ports of shipment to examine horses presented for that purpose, and explicit instructions have been given to them by the Ministry not to pass any animal which does not comply fully with the standard of fitness laid down by the Acts. The Ministry has no reason to believe that these instructions are not strictly complied with. Regulations have been made by the Ministry with regard to the construction of vessels carrying horses, and as to their feeding and attendance whilst on board. These Regulations are contained in the Horses (Importation and Transit) Order of 1913. The Ministry has no jurisdiction as regards the manner in which the animals are dealt with on landing on the Continent.


To what Ministry does the hon. and gallant Gentleman refer?


To the Ministry of Agriculture.


Are any reports made by these inspectors to the Home Office? If so, will they be laid on the Table?


I am only answering for the Minister of Agriculture, but everything in a legislative and administrative way is done, so far as Ministers can do it.