HC Deb 01 June 1821 vol 5 cc1098-9

The House having, on the motion Of Mr. R. Martin, gone into a committee on this bill,

Mr. Colborne

objected to the measure as wholly unnecessary. It would have the effect of punishing servants, whilst it would leave untouched the conduct of owners of horses, who were often cruel in matching them to perform great distances, in very short periods of time. He could not but think that the House was too prone to legislation upon subjects which did not require it.

Mr. Alderman C. Smith

thought the principle of the bill a good one, but lie did not see why its enactments should be confined to horses. He thought that asses should also be protected from the cruelty to which they were so often exposed, and would move that the word "asses" should be inserted.

Mr. Monck

considered the bill altogether unnecessary. It arose out of that spirit of legislation which was too prevalent in the present day. If a bill for the protection of horses and asses should pass, he should not be surprised to find some other member proposing a bill for the protection of dogs [a member here said "and cats"]. He thought it better that such matters should not be made the subject of legislation.

Mr. Alderman Wood

reminded the committee, that there were acts in force for the protection of all animals within the bills of mortality. He should wish this bill to go farther, and protect all animals.

Mr. Warre

thought the present law defective, inasmuch as whatever might be the brutality, yet malice must be proved in order to punish the offender.

Lord Binning

suggested, that the cruelty of an owner to his animals should equally be included in the bill.

Mr. Scarlett

thought the subject not a fit one for legislation, and that gentlemen might as well bring in a bill against hunting the hare.

After some further conversation, the amendment of Mr. C. Smith was agreed to. On the report being brought up, Mr. Ellice moved, "that it be received on that day six months."

Mr. Ricardo

said, that when so many barbarities prevailed in fishing and hunting, and other species of amusement, it was idle to legislate without including all possible cases.

Mr. Bernal

hoped no sentiment of ridicule would operate on the mover of this bill, to prevent his persevering.

The Attorney-General

objected to the bill as a new principle in the criminal law.

The House divided: For the Amendment, 31; Against it, 34. The report was ordered to be received on Tuesday.