§ 18. Mr. Lipton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take powers to require the owners of ponies and cattle left on open moors during the winter months to provide adequate food and shelter for these animals.
It is an offence under the Protection of Animals Act, 1911, for a person responsible for an animal to cause it unnecessary suffering. Any apparent breaches of this requirement should be reported to the police. I have no reason to think that further legislation is required.
§ Mr. Lipton
Does the hon. Gentleman know that according to local reports, which have been verified by the hon. Member for Tavistock (Sir H. Studholme) since I put down this Question, last winter a substantial number of animals died of hunger and exhaustion on Dartmoor where they had been turned out and left to fend for themselves by callous and unscrupulous local farmers? Will the hon. Gentleman take steps to see that the law is enforced?
I said in my Answer that apparent breaches of the regulations should be reported to the police, and I am sure that the chief constables con- 426 cerned will take note of what the hon. Gentleman said.
§ Sir H. Studholme
Is my hon. Friend aware that I am in touch with the Dartmoor Commoners' Association and that I am hoping very soon to arrange a meeting with Members of Parliament whose constituencies are concerned and representatives of the Dartmoor Commoners' Association and the Duchy of Cornwall? Animals on Dartmoor have suffered a good deal during this hard winter, and we shall discuss this and other questions related to animals on the moor.