§ Sir F. SYKES
asked the Home Secretary whether he has received complaints of cruelty to horses which have been exported from this country for slaughter; and, if so, whether he is holding an investigation in the matter?
§ Mr. BUXTON
I have been asked to reply. I have received from time to time complaints of cruelty to horses shipped from this country to the Continent, and I have seen references to a recent visit paid to Paris by a representative of the Royal Society for the Prevention of 83W Cruelty to Animals. Although I have no jurisdiction nor power to intervene as to the disposal of animals after landing on the Continent, I arranged for a senior inspector of the Department to pay a special visit to France last week to investigate the allegations with regard to this trade. The inspector travelled from Folkestone to Paris with a shipload of horses, many of which were afterwards slaughtered for human consumption in the Paris abattoir, and he reports that the animals were in excellent condition, were accommodated and treated throughout the sea and land journey in exactly the same manner as a valuable consignment of Argentine polo ponies, included in the shipload. The inspector saw horses slaughtered under the most humane conditions in an abattoir controlled by the Prefect of Police of Paris, and under the supervision of three veterinary inspectors. I am arranging for a visit of inspection by persons whose visit could not be anticipated.