HC Deb 22 April 1948 vol 449 c2007
71. Earl Winterton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that there has been a serious amount of killing and mutilation of sheep by straying dogs in Southern England recently; and if, in view of the cruelty, loss of food supply and hardship to farmers from this cause, he will introduce legislation increasing the penalties upon owners who allow their dogs to stray.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)

I have no information to suggest that the courts are failing to take effective action in those cases where the dogs responsible are identified and proceedings are brought. The local authorities have powers to make regulations requiring dogs to be kept under control at certain times and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture is considering whether any extension of these powers is desirable.

Earl Winterton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that hundreds of sheep are being killed and maimed in the South of England by dogs; that the police and the National Farmers Union are greatly concerned over the present state of the law; and that every application made to any of the animal welfare societies to deal with the matter has been fruitless since the members of those societies, following the example set elsewhere, have more sympathy with the murderer than with the victim?