HC Deb 07 March 1927 vol 203 cc836-7

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the destination of the 4,214 horses exported during the six months ended 31st January, 1927; and particularly the 1,600 of that number which were intended for immediate slaughter?


The destination of these horses is as follows:—

Belgium 438
Holland 2,368
France 1,234
Other countries 174
As far as can be ascertained, 1,600 horses went to Holland for immediate slaughter, five went to Belgium for that purpose, and none went to other countries.

Colonel APPLIN

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think the time has now come to put an end to this inhuman traffic in horses?


I do not think there is any inhuman traffic. In the first place, a horse which is to be allowed out of the country has to be able to work and to travel without any cruelty, and no horses are going to France or Belgium—or only five went in the six months, to Belgium—for slaughter. They are only going to these countries to work.


Can the right hon. Gentleman persuade all the old ladies in London to believe that?


In view of the statement of the right hon. Gentleman has made that every horse to be exported must be fit for work, how does he explain the figure he has given of 1,600 horses exported for slaughter?


There is nothing to prevent people on the Continent slaughtering horses for human consumption which are fit for work, and, as a matter of fact, there is a very large demand in Holland for horses of this character for human consumption. In the case of that country no allegation whatever has been made against the humane methods of slaughter, which are quite equal to those in this country.