HC Deb 29 January 1934 vol 285 cc15-6
17. Mr. YOUNG

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that horses are being exported from this country for use in bull fighting, and that the export of ponies to the Continent for the purpose of being killed for food is still taking place; and whether he will take steps to prevent the continuance of these practices, which involve unnecessary cruelty to the animals concerned?


I have recently caused inquiry to be made on the Continent and no evidence was found that horses exported from this country are used in bullfighting. No horses were sent from Great Britain to Spain during 1933. With few exceptions, the 358 ponies exported to the Continent last year were either high-class animals such as polo ponies, or shetlands sent to Holland and Belgium. Three or four of the latter class are reported to have been slaughtered soon after their arrival on the Continent, and the rest were sold for working purposes. The exportation of horses is rigidly controlled by the Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, and the Exportation of Horses Act, 1914.


Has the right hon. Gentleman any means of ascertaining what happens to these horses when they reach Dutch and Belgian territory?


We can only make such inquiries as are possible. I have given my hon. Friend the result of these inquiries in my answer.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

May we have an assurance that if the right hon. Gentleman gets any information regarding the export of horses for bull fights he will take instant action?


Certainly, I shall be glad to inquire into any cases which may be brought to my notice.