HC Deb 23 February 1899 vol 67 c308

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he will advise the abolition of the muzzling of dogs in Ireland; and whether he is aware that the carrying out of this Muzzling Order entails a lot of trouble upon the police in Ireland, and great hardships upon the people, owing to the unreasonable fines inflicted by some magistrates?


It is not proposed, at present, to suspend the Muzzling of Dogs Order in Ireland. The total number of cases of rabies throughout Ireland in the 12 months ended the 31st December 1898 was 132, as compared with 162 cases in the last six months of 1897, whilst the number or cases in the first six months of 1897, before the Muzzling Order came into operation, was 335. The enforcement of the Order has consequently been attended, so far, with satisfactory results, and it would be premature, in the circumstances, to revoke the Order. It is quite possible that the enforcement of the Order entails some trouble to the police, but I have no reason to believe that the duty is not cheerfully performed by them. With regard to the fines inflicted by magistrates, I have no information before me that the fines imposed err on the side of severity. In rural districts the average penalty amounts to less than a shilling, and in the Dublin Metropolitan District the average penalty is half-a-crown.