§ 13. Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the present conditions relating to the export of horses for slaughter; and whether he proposes to take any steps in the matter?
§ The MINISTER of AGRICULTURE (Mr. Buxton)
I have carefully inquired both officially and privately into the conditions relating to the Export of horses. No worn-out horses an allowed to be exported from this country. All horses exported to the Continent are subjected to a uniformly rigid veterinary examination immediately before shipment. Officers of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals acknowledge that the standard of fitness imposed by the Ministry's port inspectors is a very high one, and that no horse which is unfit to travel and to work without suffering is passed for export.
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL
Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the public that the Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals have said that they are satisfied no cruelty exists?
§ Mr. BUXTON
The society is not in a position to state what happens abroad. The only practicable method to be adopted is that of setting a very high standard in regard to quality of the horses exported from this side. Our standard is an exceedingly high one.
§ Mr. SAMUEL
But are the society satisfied that every precaution is taken on this side to see that no cruelty arises?
§ Lieut.-Colonel JAMES
Is there any objection, in view of the fact that there are excellent abattoirs in this country, why all these animals should not be slaughtered before export?
§ Mr. BUXTON
This is a most important matter, but I do not see what we can do beyond setting an exceedingly high standard for export, which we do. If any higher standard can be suggested, it shall be carefully considered.