§ 27. Mr. Gurden
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware that recently fourteen bullocks were transported from York to Weston-Super-Mare, a distance of 233 miles, without provision for food and water; that it was necessary to unload these en route due to two being down and trampled; and if he will amend the Regulations so as to increase the penalties for this type of offence.
I understand that the driver of the lorry stopped at the nearest sizeable farm as soon as he suspected that an animal was down and obtained permission to unload. The animal got up and the lorry was reloaded without difficulty. The bullocks were fed and watered on arrival at their destination. The abattoir records indicate that, when slaughtered, the carcases were normal and showed no signs of bruising.
I am always ready to consider proposals for improving the Regulations designed to prevent unnecessary suffering by animals during transit, but I am afraid that occasional incidents of this kind are unavoidable when animals are transported by road, and my inquiries do not suggest that any offence was committed in this case.