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Horses (Export)

Volume 236: debated on Monday 10 March 1930

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asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the conditions under which horses exported from this country to the continent of Europe for butehery purposes are slaughtered in certain abattoirs there; and whether he will give facilities for the passage in all its stages during the present Session of Parliament of the Bill presented by the hon. Member for Edmonton (Mr. Broad) to make such export illegal?

I am advised that all the horses exported from this country to the Continent in 1929 for immediate slaughter were slaughtered by the humane killer. In reply to the second part of the question, I can add nothing to the reply which I gave to a similar question by the hon. and gallant Member for Rugby (Captain Margesson) on 24th December.

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the conditions under which horses exported from this country to the Continent of Europe for butchery purposes are slaughtered in certain abattoirs there; and whether he will consider the desirability of initiating legislation making such export illegal?

My right hon. Friend has read statements on the conditions obtaining in certain abattoirs on the Continent. They have no relevance to the existing export trade in horses from this country, since, as stated in a reply to the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) on the 6th instant, all the horses exported from this country to the Continent in 1929 were, according to my right hon. Friend's information, slaughtered with the humane killer in Holland or at Boulogne. The whole question of the export trade in horses was thoroughly investigated by the Departmental Committee appointed in 1925, who were satisfied that the provisions of the Acts were efficiently carried out and that the closing of the Continental market could not be justified. My right hon. Friend is unable, therefore, to contemplate the action suggested in the last part of the question.

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of horses which have been exported to the several European countries, respectively, for butchery purposes during the year 1929?

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. Thorne) on the 6th instant, of which I am sending him a copy.