HC Deb 01 June 1921 vol 142 cc1082-3W

asked the Prime Minister whether he has received from the hon. Member for Twickenham (Sir W. Joynson-Hicks) some 7,000 signatures against the traffic in worn-out horses between this country and the Continent; and, if so, whether he can take any steps to stop it?


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the traffic in worn-out horses has been in the hands of his Ministry for many years without the cruelties associated with that traffic being substantially abated, and that there is a strong feeling in the country that any improved system of inspection cannot be relied upon to prevent these cruelties; and what action he proposes to take to put an end to this traffic?


I understand the Prime Minister has received the memorial referred to. No horse may be exported from this country except after a veterinary examination in order to ascertain that the horse is "fit to travel and work." Insomuch as it appears that the trade in horses for slaughter, though those horses are in no sense "worn out," is accompanied by suffering and attended with cruelties which ought to be prevented, I am taking steps to ensure that the horses intended for slaughter shall be killed in this country and exported as dead meat, as is already done in the case of France. A conference has already been held between the Ministry's representative and those of France, Belgium, and Holland, when my proposals were sympathetically received. I am inviting the representatives of the countries concerned to a further meeting in London to discuss the details of administration.