HC Deb 15 July 1889 vol 338 c405
SIR HENRY ROSCOE (Manchester, S.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether any order has yet been issued by the Privy Council as to the general muzzling of dogs throughout the country, in face of the fact of the large number of cases of rabies which have recently occurred; and, if he will state what powers exist for the destruction of stray dogs by Local Authorities?

* THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH,) Strand, West- 406 minster

It has not been deemed expedient to pass a General Order at present; but the Privy Council have issued an Order requiring the muzzling of all dogs within the Metropolitan Police District (a radius of 15 miles from Charing Cross) from August 1 to December 31. The Returns of rabies in the Metropolis and neighbourhood during the first six months of 1889 show a steady increase of the disease. The police in the Metropolis have power to destroy stray dogs; but Local Authorities generally have no such power under the Dogs Act of 1871, unless a mad dog, or a dog suspected of being mad, is found within their jurisdiction. It is possible that some Local Acts may give Local Authorities greater power; but the Privy Council have no information on the subject. Under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act of 1878, the Privy Council can only sanction the detention, but not the destruction, of stray dogs.


Has there been a large increase of mad dogs?


I am not aware that there has been a large increase, but there has been an increase.