HC Deb 01 February 1951 vol 483 cc1068-9
48. Commander Noble

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he is taking to prevent the overloading and resultant suffering of horses on transport for slaughtering.

53. General Sir George Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is satisfied with the arrangements for the transport and accommodation of horses imported from Ireland for food purposes.

Mr. T. Williams

The Departmental Committee on the Export and Slaughter of Horses recommended last year that certain additional measures should be taken to protect horses against suffering while being carried in rail and road vehicles. To give effect to these recommendations I propose to make an order under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1950. Consultations have been taking place with the other Departments and organisations concerned, and I expect to be in a position to make the Order at a very early date.

Mr. Sutcliffe

Can the Minister say why there has been such a long delay, because he made an almost exactly similar announcement in reply to a Question in the middle of December?

Mr. Williams

Because we have made what I thought was a wise decision to consult the various organisations concerned.

Mr. Poole

I did not hear much of my right hon. Friend's reply. Is he satisfied that the penalties provided by the law are sufficiently high to act as a deterrent against things we see happening, not only to horses that are for export but to horses in transport between points in this country? If not, will he strengthen them?

Mr. Williams

Yes, I think the penalties are sufficient if justices of the peace are not too lenient.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

As this is concerned with diseases of animals can we assume that the Minister is covering the whole of the country?

Mr. Williams

I think the Secretary of State for Scotland has some power in Scotland, but I would not be too sure about that.

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