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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I propose to ensure that cows heavily in milk should not be exported for slaughter; that lairages at the ports should be divided and the animals supervised by experienced persons; and that water troughs, hay racks, fodder and detention pens should be provided. We also agree that approved detention premises should be permanent and covered and should normally be within the dock or airport area or adjacent to it. We shall provide that cattle should be fed as well as watered on lengthy internal rail journeys.
As regards the recommendation that vessels should not sail if winds of force 6 or over are forecast, we have decided that it would be unwise to fetter the discretion of the master of the vessel, and we propose to prohibit the carriage of cattle if the master has reason to expect adverse weather.
The suggestions that cattle found unfit for shipment should be sent to the nearest slaughterhouse and that a minimum size might be prescribed for vessels engaged in the trade raise difficulties that require further study. We have come to the conclusion that it would not be in the interests of the animals to relax the rule requiring cattle to be tied while on board ship.
Discussions with the foreign Governments concerned with a view to making satisfactory arrangements for the treatment of British cattle are continuing, and I hope to make a statement about this immediately after the Whitsun Recess.