§ MR. M'LAREN (Cheshire, Crewe)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a Resolution of the Warrington Farmers' Club re-affirming their grievances arising from the state of the law regarding stray dogs, and showing that it is no remedy to shoot the dog after the damage is done; whether it is true that a gamekeeper may shoot a dog in pursuit of a hare to save the hare's life, but a farmer may not shoot a dog in pursuit of a sheep or a cow until injury has been done; whether it is the law that every dog is entitled to one bite before it can be legally destroyed, even if the farmer has reason to believe it is dangerous; and, whether, considering the damage which farmers suffer, he will endeavour to alter the law, so as to give farmers the right to protect themselves and shoot dangerous stray dogs?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (MR. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir; I have seen an account of the proceedings referred to at the Warrington Farmers' Club. As to the second and third paragraphs of the hon. Member's Question, it is no part of my duty to give legal opinions in this House; but I believe both those paragraphs to be inaccurate statements of the law. As I informed the hon. Member a short time ago, I believe the existing law is sufficient to enable farmers to protect themselves and their property against dangerous stray dogs; and I have no intention of introducing a Bill on the subject.