§ Major STEEL
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to articles appearing in the Press on the subject of the sale of worn-out horses to the Continent; what steps are taken by his Department in the matter; and what is the lowest price at which these horses are sold and the cost of shipment?
Sir A BOSCAWEN
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. These statements appear generally to be made under a misapprehension as to the facts. The Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, and the Exportation of Horses Act, 1914, prohibits the shipment of worn-out horses without a written guarantee from a veterinary inspector of the Ministry to the effect that the horses are capable of being conveyed and worked without suffering. The Ministry insist on a strict interpretation of the standard of fitness. The average price of the exported horses is, I understand, £28, and the cost of shipment varies between £4 and £6. I have no reason to believe that any horses 89W are being shipped which fail to reach the requisite standard.