HC Deb 31 January 1949 vol 460 cc196-7W
56. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that a substantial number of farm horses are being exported from this country for slaughter in Belgium and Holland although they are young and fully capable of work; whether he is satisfied that there is a surplus of horses in this country; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.

Mr. T. Williams

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Acton (Mr. Sparks) on 24th January. In addition to the figures there given for Belgium, an average of about 26 horses per week went to Holland in the last quarter of 1948, and a total of eight in the preceding nine months. Licences for the export of horses are only issued within limits which are settled from time to time after consultation with the Farmers' Unions of Great Britain and are designed to ensure that the requirements of British agriculture are not prejudiced.

Sir R. Glyn

asked the Minister Of Agriculture whether his attention has been drawn to the increasing number of British working horses exported to the Continent for food; and whether he is satisfied that this drain on our best horses is in the interest of British agriculture in time of emergency when fuel supplies may be difficult to obtain for tractors, etc.

Mr. T. Williams

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply that I have given today to a Question by the hon. and gallant Member for Tonbridge (Mr. G. Williams).

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