HC Deb 04 August 1909 vol 8 cc1846-7

asked for leave to introduce a Bill to extend the Wild Animals in Captivity Protection Act, 1900, to Scotland.

In introducing this Bill to the House I have a very few remarks to make. In 1900 a Bill for the Protection of Wild Animals in Captivity was presented and passed through all its stages* in this House absolutely without any remarks, comments, or explanations. But in another place Lord James made a full explanation of the purport of the Bill, and explained that the existing statutes for the prevention of cruelty to animals did not apply to wild animals that were in captivity. He showed that the existing statutes only applied to domestic animals and those animals which from their nature were brought into close relationship with mankind, and the object then aimed at, as explained by Lord James, was to save wild animals in captivity, birds, beasts, and so on, from any unnecessary cruelty. At the same time, he explained that he had exempted Scotland from the operation of the Bill because the statutes existing in that country showed that this Bill was not necessary. It is very much to be regretted that on that occasion Lord James was not sufficiently well informed as to the Scottish statutes. It has been found since that no statutes in Scotland enable this protection to be given to ordinary-wild animals. Therefore, I have been requested by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to introduce this very short Bill, which is absolutely non-contentious, or I would not have ventured to introduce it at this period of the Session. As far as I know it will receive practically unanimous support from all sides of the House. It only consists of one clause, which applies to Scotland the provisions of the Act to which I have referred.

Leave given. Bill presented accordingly and read the first time. (To be read a second time upon Monday, 9th August.)