§ Mr. S. MITCHELL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will be willing to consider imposing an export duty on worn-out horses exported to the Continent in order to discourage this trade, which in many cases causes much suffering?
I have been asked to reply. The Diseases of Animals Act, 1910, as amended by the Exportation of Horses Act, 1914, prohibits the export to the Continent of horses which are not fit to travel or to work without suffering. This prohibition is rigidly enforced by the Ministry. Worn-out horses cannot therefore be exported. The Departmental Committee which inquired into the export of horses to the Continent in 1925 investigated a suggestion that an export tax or examination fee of £20 should be imposed on all horses sent alive out of the country, except those under six years of age or over £40 in value, and reported that such a proposal was unnecessary and impracticable, and that an examination fee should not be fixed at any higher figure than was necessary to cover the cost of inspection. I agree with the re- 1579W commendation of the Committee and cannot, therefore, accept the hon. Member's proposal.