asked the Minister for Agriculture (a) if he will consider banning the export of horses for slaughter, (b) what representations he has received in this regard, and (c) the dates on which he received such representations.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Export of Horses for Slaughter.
I can see no grounds for imposing a ban on the export of horses of any type, provided such horses are healthy and fit for work.
My predecessor and I have received a considerable number of letters, mainly from residents in Britain, on this matter over a number of years. I do not consider that the time and expenditure which would be involved in preparing replies to parts (b) and (c) of the question would be justified.
Has the Minister received no representations from residents in Eire about the banning of the export of horsemeat?
I have received representations from the residents of the Republic of Ireland, Madam.
Surely the Minister does not suggest that he has received more representations from outside the Republic than from within?
I think I have, over the period.
Every Deputy in this House has received representations from numerous and influential Irish citizens.
That may be.
Many, including members of this House, are far from satisfied with the attitude of the Department of Agriculture on this whole question.
Arising from that observation, I think it is appropriate that I should inform the Deputy and the House that our experience of mortality in respect of horses transhipped has been as follows in recent years: In 1949, .03 per cent of 1 per cent.; 1950, .1 of 1 per cent.; 1951, .28 of 1 per cent.; 1952, .21 of 1 per cent.; 1953, .12 of 1 per cent; 1954, .22 of 1 per cent. and 1955, .26 of 1 per cent. That would include any horse which died from natural causes apart from injuries sustained in transit. Furthermore, I think it is right to say that, in association with the Blue Cross, at present special veterinary research is proceeding to investigate the causes of mortality of horses from causes other than accidents which would further reduce the figure I have given the Deputy.