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Horses (Sale And Destruction)

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1930

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asked the Secretary of State for War how many injured, old, and worn-out horses have been slaughtered by his Department during the past 12 months; how many have been sold and for what purposes; and what steps, if any, are taken by him to secure that horses sold are subsequently humanely treated?

During the 12 months ended 30th September last, 1,044 Army horses and mules were destroyed, 748 were sold by auction, 36 for breeding purposes and 12 to officers on sentimental grounds. Horses which are unfit for further work are destroyed. As regards those which are still fit for work and are sold by public auction, a reserve price is fixed, and if an animal fails to realise this reserve, it is withdrawn from the sale. By this means it is hoped to en- sure that the animals will fall into the hands of those who will set proper store by their purchase.

asked the Secretary of State for War what provision is made by his Department for the humane slaughter of Army horses and mules which, on account of age or other disability, are no longer fit for service in His Majesty's Army; and whether he can give an assurance that such horses are not sold or otherwise disposed of for export abroad for butchery or other purposes?

Animals cast from the Army for destruction are sent to firms of horse slaughterers where they are destroyed with a humane killer in the presence of a military representative. No such animals are sold for export abroad.