HC Deb 02 March 1903 vol 118 cc1110-1

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture if he will state under which section or sections of Vic. 57 and 58, c. 57, and 59 and CO Vic, c. 15, instructions were in the first instance given to slaughter the goat of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers on his landing at Southampton last month, and a refusal was made to the request of the officers of the regiment to be allowed to retain the head and horns for preservation; whether the conferences between the authorities of the War Office and the Board of Agriculture as to the proper course to be pursued under the circumstances were held on the initiative of the War Office or on that of the Board of Agriculture; whether any other Department was consulted before the decision to set aside the provisions of the Acts of Parliament was come to; whether, in consequence of the action of his Department, he contemplates any legislation; and, if so, will he consider the advisability of relaxing the provisions of the present law in the case of animals kept as pets by regiments.


The answer to the first part' of the Question is Section 1 of the Diseases of Animals Act, 1896. Exemption is already allowed in the case of regimental pets, but from the reply received from the officer in command of the battalion it appeared that the goat had been purchased in South Africa to replace one which had been presented to the regiment by Her late Majesty and that it would probably not be retained as the regimental pet. On a statement by the Deputy Adjutant General that it was in fact the recognised regimental goat authority for its landing was given. No order for the slaughter of the animal so long as it was not landed was given, and no instructions whatever were issued with regard to the head and horns as suggested in the Question.