HC Deb 08 March 1923 vol 161 cc735-6W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of his statement that the trade in worn-out or decrepit horses is stopped, he will state the conditions under which the export of horses for butchery purposes is carried on; whether he is aware that the new conditions under which these animals are exported are more cruel than those under which decrepit horses were exported, and that these animals go for long periods without food or water; and whether his Department will investigate specific cases of bad treatment which may be forwarded to it?


All live horses exported from Great Britain to the Continent have to comply with the provisions of the Exportation and Transit of Horses, Asses, and Mules Order of 1921, which came into operation on the 1st January, 1922. I will have a copy of this Order sent to my hon. and gallant Friend. No horses can be shipped unless they pass a high standard of fitness to work and to travel without suffering. I would point out, however, that I have no power to determine the use to which a horse shall be put after it leaves this country, but I have already said that I will encourage in every way the conversion of the traffic in live horses for butchering into a trade in dead meat. The reply to the second part is in the negative. With regard to the third part, I shall be pleased to make inquiries, but I have no power to deal with reported cases of the bad treatment of horses in continental countries.