§ Mr. Greenway
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what steps he takes to seek to ensure the enforcement of the provisions discouraging the importation of horses with docked tails; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what recent representations he has received about the incidence of the docking of horses' tails; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
The import of horses with docked tails is controlled under the Docking and Nicking of Horses Act 1949.
Instructions have been issued to Her Majesty's Customs and Excise officials at points of entry to prevent such imports except where a licence has been issued by my Department in respect of an animal for breeding, or where the animal will be re-exported as soon as practicable under Customs control. No licences for breeding purposes have been issued since 1980.
Members of the state veterinary service have also been instructed to report on any docked horses found at markets and sales. Anyone convicted for failing to comply with the legislation is liable to a heavy fine or imprisonment.
My Department has not received any recent representations on horse tail docking.