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Horses (Export)

Volume 236: debated on Monday 10 March 1930

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will stop the export of all horses, sound or unsound, for slaughter?

The question of the export trade in horses was thoroughly investigated by the Departmental Committee appointed in 1925, who reported that closing the Continental markets was not justified. The position has not altered since that date and my right hon. Friend is therefore unable to take the action suggested in the question.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether recently any representative of the Ministry of Agriculture has been abroad to see these slaughter places, and will the Minister satisfy himself that no cruelty takes place now?

We have had a recent inquiry into the matter, and my answer-was given in consequence.

Did I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that he has power to prohibit this exportation, or has he not the power, without legislation?

Are the Ministry carrying out the same policy in this respect as their predecessors, of whose Government his questioners were Members?

I find that all horses were to be sent to certain places where they were to be killed by the humane killer. Until Parliament gives other instructions, we must carry out that instruction.

Is the right hon. Gentleman following the same policy in this respect as the last Government, of which his previous questioners were Members?

In view of the great interest in this matter throughout the country, will the right hon. Gentleman consider publishing the report on this question which he said had been received recently by his Department?

I will not say that it was departmental information. We are taking the fullest possible steps, and I see no reason for departing from my answer.