HC Deb 19 April 1911 vol 24 c879

asked whether it is permissible, under the existing regulations of the Home Department for pit ponies to foe worked for two shifts of eight or nine hours out of the twenty-four; and, if not, what steps are taken to prevent this being done?


There is no provision in the existing law as to the length of the shift for which animals may be worked; but it is the duty of the inspectors of mines to examine into the care and treatment of the animals used in a mine, and to report any cases of cruelty or neglect. The Royal Commission on Mines, in their third Report, recommend that it should be enacted that pit ponies shall not be overworked and shall have adequate periods of rest, but do not think it practicable to lay down any general rule prescribing the length of the shift.


Is there any present provision for these pit ponies obtaining water between their shifts?


I cannot answer that question without notice. The matter has been investigated by the Royal Commission, and action will be taken which has never been taken before to secure the proper treatment of these ponies.