HC Deb 01 August 1952 vol 504 cc200-1W
Lieut.-Colonel Bromley - Davenport

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether in, view of the provision of paragraph 8 of the Horses (Sea Transport) Order, 1952, which imposes a prohibition on the embarkation of horses if suffering from infirmity, illness, injury, fatigue or other causes, he will take steps to issue a directive to port veterinary inspectors indicating that this prohibition should be held to include the embarkation of unbroken horses, except foals at foot, cast pit ponies and blind horses.

Sir T. Dugdale

No. Under the Diseases of Animals Act, 1950, no horse may be exported from Great Britain unless it is capable of being worked without suffering; and in addition no draught horse, vanner, mule or jennet may be exported unless its value is at least £75. The purpose of the Order to which my hon. Friend refers is to protect horses from unnecessary suffering while in transit by sea. I am advised that pit ponies and blind horses are not liable to any more disturbance by a sea passage than other horses, and I see no reason for a general prohibition of their transport by sea. The same applies generally to unbroken horses. Some unbroken horses may be difficult to embark, but I have no reason to suppose that the officers of local authorities who are responsible for enforcing the Order would not prohibit the embarkation of any horses when they considered this necessary to prevent suffering.