HC Deb 03 July 1952 vol 503 cc613-4
29. Mr. E. Johnson

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will arrange for the Trade Returns to distinguish between the number of horses imported from Ireland for food and for other purposes.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

No, Sir. The volume of imports of horses for food is insufficient to justify raising a separate statistical heading for that class.

Mr. Johnson

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that one of the first steps to be taken to prevent the illicit slaughtering of horses under disgusting circumstances should be at least to know how many are imported from Ireland and for what specific purposes they are imported?

Mr. Thorneycroft

The total value of unspecified animals imported for food amounted only to £23,172 from January to May this year for all types of animals, and so I am afraid that the total for horses, if it were separated, would be extremely small and not of very great value to my hon. Friend.