§ 7. Mr. Archer
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation to amend Section 135 of the Highways Act, 1959 to increase the penalty which may be imposed upon the owner of a straying horse.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Dick Taverne)
The Criminal Justice Bill to be introduced before the end of the year will provide for an increased penalty for this offence.
§ Mr. Archer
I thank my hon. and learned Friend for that reply but, when the penalty is being considered, will he bear in mind that in one area in my constituency in a very short period, a child has been kicked, a motor-cyclist has been killed, and numerous elderly people have been terrified by straying horses?
§ Mr. Taverne
I certainly recognise, as my hon. Friend obviously thinks, that the present penalties of, I think, 5s. in respect of each animal, or a maximum of 30s. in each case, are quite inadequate, and we have recognised that in the Bill.