§ MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a report in The Rugby Advertiser, of June 16, of some sports at the recent annual fête of the Rugby Habitation of the Primrose League; whether it is true, as stated in such report, that there was an "animal race," in which several dogs (including a terrier), a lamb, and a hen competed, and that they were driven by their owners by means of strings tied to their legs; that considerable amusement was caused by the terrier going for the lamb at every opportunity; that many persons present expressed their sense of the cruelty practised; and that, in obedience to protests, the hen was eventually withdrawn from the contest; and, whether he will make any communication to the officers of the League, with a view of preventing a repetition of such practices?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I have received a Report from the Police Authorities on this matter. They inform me that such a race did take place. It was not a lamb that competed, but a three-year-old Welsh sheep, and a very small terrier, which was much frightened by the sheep, and took care to keep out of its way. The hen, when brought to the post, settled herself on the grass, refused to move, and was at once taken away. The police assure me that no cruelty took place, nor was there any protest on the part of the crowd. I see nothing in the circumstances to justify or call for any further interference on my part.