HC Deb 24 May 1881 vol 261 c1202

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is the fact that on April 30th, at the Bala Petty Sessions, Catherine Owen, of the Lion Hotel, Bala, was fined £50 for having, on the 11th February, bought ten pheasants from Robert Davies, not being then a person entitled to deal in game according to the statute, it being admitted on the part of the prosecution that Catherine Owen could not, at the time of purchase, have been aware that the pheasants had been poached; and, if he will cause inquiry to be made into the circumstances which could justify a sentence of such apparent severity?


Sir, I have not got the entire facts of the case; but I think it is one very proper for inquiry. I have previously expressed my opinion as to the penal clauses of the Game Act—that they require to be entirely revised and altered, and none more than those clauses which relate to the sale of game. I have been looking into the Act, and, as far as I can make out, if a gentleman shoots pheasants on his own ground and sells them to his friend, the gentleman who has got the pheasants is liable to a penalty of £2 for every such pheasant in his possession; and if a gentleman likes to present pheasants to any person who does not want them for his own use, and who converts them into money by selling them, the person selling them is liable to a fine of £5 for every such pheasant. If a law of that kind is enforced in its rigour, I think everyone will see that the sooner it is altered the better.