HC Deb 26 February 1924 vol 170 c284W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware of the traffic in worn-out horses; how many have been exported from this country during the last six months; and what steps he is taking to prevent this traffic?


I should explain that there is no traffic in worn-out horses because the Ministry insists on a very high standard of fitness in all horses for export, and no horse is passed for shipment unless it is in every sense fit to travel and to work. I intend to do everything in my power to maintain in full vigour the stringent regulations which have been in force during the past three years, and have effectively removed any undesirable features from this trade. 10,918 horses were shipped from Great Britain to the Continent during the six months from August, 1923, to January, 1924. A considerable number of the animals are of high value, but owing to the high price of other meat on the Continent, horse fleshers are able to pay high prices for quite good class horses to be slaughtered for human food. I have no power to prevent butchers purchasing such horses after their arrival on the Continent, but, so far as I can ascertain, many of these horses are slaughtered in public abattoirs by humane methods. The last part of the question does not therefore arise.

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