§ Mr. Hancock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received concerning the use of pit ponies in the UK. 
§ Mr. George Howarth
The Department has received a letter and petition from the Fforest Uchaf Horse and Pony Rehabilitation Centre. A reply was sent by my officials on 30 October 1998.
The Coal and Other Mines (Horses) Regulations 1956 set out the requirements about the use of horses and ponies in mines. The Mines Inspectorate of the Health and Safety Executive, which is responsible for enforcing the legislation, say that they have found no evidence of the maltreatment of any horses and ponies used in mines.