HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 cc489-90
8. Sir.J. Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will amend the law pertaining to the destruction, on a magistrate's ruling, of dogs which, from lack of, or faulty, training, have misbehaved themselves, by allowing them to be sent to an approved quarantine or boarding kennel or other institution where they can do no damage, thereby enabling their owners to avoid the £1 a day penalty.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I regret that I cannot hold out any hope of Government legislation for this purpose.

Sir J. Lucas

Will my right hon. Friend make a statement on the case of "Lassie" which was ordered by the magistrates to be destroyed? Pending an appeal to quarter sessions, the owner gave it away to a Miss Atherton, who has an animal sanctuary, without informing her of the circumstances, the dog now being perfectly well behaved. Meanwhile, the former owner, who is on public assistance, is liable to a fine of £1 a day during the dog's life. The new owner refuses to give the dog up and the police have no power to enter the premises to collect it.

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I suspected that my hon. Friend might have this case in mind. I have some difficulty in intervening because, though I might consider the suggestion that the penalty should be remitted, I must at the same time see that the court's orders are obeyed. If my hon. Friend will leave the matter to me we might have a talk together about it and see what might be done.