§ 59. Mr. Dodds-Parker
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will forthwith increase the value under which no horse shall be allowed to be exported from this country, in accordance with the recommendations of the Departmental Committee on Export and Slaughter of Horses, seeing that he has such power under the Exportation of Horses Act, 1937.
Mr. T. Williams
Yes. I am making an Order to increase the minimum values of exported horses as recommended by the Committee with a view to preventing the export of live horses for slaughter.
If I may be allowed, I should like to take this opportunity of stating that having considered the Committee's report as a whole, the Government accept the recommendations of the Committee that the breeding of horses for slaughter should not be encouraged, but that the slaughter of horses in this country for sale for human consumption should be allowed to continue.
I am circulating below a statement showing the position reached on all the principal recommendations of the Committee. On some of them decisions must be deferred until the necessary consultations with different bodies have taken place and various wider questions of policy have been settled.
Finally, I wish to repeat in public the expression of thanks which I have already conveyed personally to Lord Rosebery and the members of his Committee for their valuable report.
Following is the statement:The following statement shows the present position on the recommendations of the Departmental Committee on Export and Slaughter of Horses (Cmd. 7888) as summarised on pages 12 and 13 of that report.
- (a) The Ministry of Food agree that there is a case for the issue of a limited number of licences for the export of horse flesh to keep the market open.
- (b) So long as the export of horses is subject to licensing control no licence will be issued for the export of a live horse to the Continent unless there are satisfactory reasons for supposing that it will not be
56 slaughtered. The Board of Trade, in pursuance of the policy of relaxing controls that are no longer necessary, are now considering the question of issuing an open general licence for the export of horses over £100 in value. This limit is considered adequate to prevent any export of horses for slaughter.
- (c) The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is making an Order under Section (1) of the Exportation of Horses Act, 1937, amending the minimum values for horses that may be exported, in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee.
- (d) The slaughter of horses for sale for human consumption will be allowed to continue.
- (e) The Minister of Food has made an Order removing the control on the retail price of horse flesh.
- (f) to (n), and (r). These recommendations will be considered by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Food and the other Departments concerned, in connection with other matters relating to slaughterhouses in general.
- (o) to (q). These recommendations will be considered by the Inter-Departmental Committee on meat inspection, which has been appointed by the Minister of Food to review the present arrangements for the inspection of home-killed meat in accordance with the announcement made to the House on 3rd June, 1949.
- (s) The breeding of horses for slaughter will not be positively encouraged.
- (u) to (w). The British Transport Commission and the Road Haulage Association are being consulted on the measures to be taken in pursuance of the recommendations of the Committee for amendments of the Exportation and Transit of Horses, Asses and Mules Order, 1921, and of the Transit of Animals (Amendment) Order, 1931.
- (x) The Minister of Transport has under consideration the general question of the raising of the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles, and will have regard to the recommendations of the Rosebery Committee.