HC Deb 27 June 1927 vol 208 c53W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he intends to do anything

Recommendation. Action taken.
1. The attention of port inspectors should again be called to their powers to slaughter rejected horses. This has been done.
2. The time has now arrived when the Ministry should insist on its full requirements as regards the fittings of vessels and that exemption should be for a definite period, and that the question of renewal should depend on the record of casualties, and on the number of vessels engaged in the traffic which fully comply with the Order of 1921. This is being carried out where practicable when exemptions of particular vessels under review. Only small variations from standard are allowed and some of vessels have already been withdrawn from traffic on account of reduction in horse traffic and provision during the last three years of 15 new vessels which entirely comply with standard regulations.
3. Opportunity should be taken by Order of the Minister of making it an offence to carry horses on a vessel when there are reasonable grounds for supposing that rough weather will be encountered on the passage. Effect will be given to this recommendation by the issue shortly of an order on lines of recent Transit of Animals Order regulating cross channel and coastwise trade in cattle.
4. Local Authorities at ports should be required to provide a suitable place at which rejected horses could be slaughtered. In last six years only 12 horses were ordered to be slaughtered at ports as being unfit to be kept alive. Considered unreasonable therefore to require Local Authorities at all ports of shipment to provide special abattoirs for this purpose.
5. Efforts should again be made to get the Belgian and Dutch Governments to amend their regulations with respect to the importation of horse carcases. Within the last few years efforts made without success to secure amendment of Belgian and Dutch regulations, and present time not considered opportune for making further representations.
6. Inquiries should be instigated by the Ministry into the trade in the export of horse flesh (dead), with particular reference to chilling of flesh and improvement of transport facilities. The Ministry has made efforts to persuade shippers and shipping companies to improve conditions in carcase trade, but has no statutory control over it.
7. Port Inspectors should be under the direct control of the Chief Inspector. This has been done.