HC Deb 30 November 1916 vol 88 c530W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that on 17th November last the steamship "Carlow" arrived at Liverpool from Dublin with 394 oxen, eleven of which had died during the voyage, and that on the same day the steamship "Bandon" arrived at Liverpool from Cork with 305 oxen, thirty-nine of which had died during the voyage; whether there were other oxen, and, if so, how many on board these ships, respectively, which were in such a condition that they had to be slaughtered on arrival; whether he will cause the fittings of these ships to be specially examined in order to ascertain whether they are properly adapted for the conveyance of cattle across the Irish Channel in rough weather; and whether he will take all possible steps to secure that such heavy casualties among the animals carried may be avoided in the future?


The total numbers of cattle on each vessel were 394 and 305, as stated. Of these, one and five, respectively, either were killed or succumbed to injuries during the voyage, and ten and thirty-four, respectively, were slaughtered as being unable to proceed without excessive suffering, whilst the vessel was at the landing-stage. The reason for the losses was without doubt the exceedingly heavy storm which both vessels encountered in crossing. The fittings of both are very strong, and are specially provided for the requirements of this traffic, in accordance with the Animals (Transit and General) Order. None of them gave way during the voyage. My hon. Friend will realise that it is not possible always to know when very heavy weather is likely to be experienced, so that the vessels may be kept in port.