HC Deb 31 March 1890 vol 343 c288
MR. SAMUELSON (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that some grievance is felt, by persons who own sheep which feed on common or unenclosed land in the Forest of Dean, who have hitherto obtained exemption from taking out licences for dogs kept by them solely for use in tending sheep, because they have this year been compelled by the Inland Revenue officers to take out such licences; whether this change has been ordered by the Department; and whether he will consider the propriety of removing the grievance by reverting to the former custom?


The statutory exemption is in favour only of "farmers" in respect of a dog used solely in tending-sheep or cattle on a farm. The Board of Inland Revenue have already considered the case of persons who own sheep which feed on the unenclosed land in the Forest of Dean, and have decided not to insist too stringently on the term "farmer," though it is rather doubtful whether colliers or small tradesmen become "farmers" by feeding sheep on common lands. But the Board do insist that any dog for whom exemption is granted shall be used solely for tending sheep or cattle, and any other use of such a dog forfeits the exemption and renders the owner liable to the penalty for keeping a dog without licence.