§ 51. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that, on the long journeys from Ayr to Hereford by train, cows frequently calve in transit and receive no, or little attention and often no food or water; that in one case, on 19th October, 1954, such cattle had been on rail for over 42 hours without any attention; that no inquiries are ever made as to the birth 236W of calves during transit, and that they are often left in open cattle trucks; and what action he is taking to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.
The Transit of Animals Order prohibits the carriage of cows by rail if it is reasonably probable that they will calve on the journey. Twenty-one cattle which travelled from Ayr via Hereford to Trowbridge on 19th October were 26 hours on rail; I understand that although none of these calved, a few cows have calved on this route on other occasions recently. This risk is difficult to eliminate entirely. The railway authorities take what steps they can to avoid it and to deal with emergencies. My veterinary officers are in frequent touch with them on the transit of animals generally.
55. Mr. Ridsdales
asked the Minister of Agriculture when he proposes to bring in regulations governing the transit of animals by air.
The transport by air of those classes of livestock whose movement I have at present powers to control is on a comparatively small scale. I do not think there is any need yet for regulations, but I am keeping a close watch on developments so that suitable steps can if necessary be taken in the light of experience.