HC Deb 24 July 1969 vol 787 c2103
2. Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will seek to amend the Protection of Animals Act so as to prohibit cruelty to all animals, including those not in captivity.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Merlyn Rees)

I doubt whether amendment of the Protection of Animals Acts would be appropriate for the purpose which my hon. Friend has in mind; but in any event I can hold out no prospect of legislation being introduced on this subject.

Miss Lestor

While I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, may I remind him that it is 30 years since we had legislation on animal welfare and about 20 years since the Henderson Committee recommended the sort of proposals contained in the recent Bill presented by my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Whitaker)? Will my hon. Friend also bear in mind that the attitude of people towards hunting and many other activities in connection with animals which are called sports has changed enormously over the last few years and that some of us would like to see the Government take a lead in this direction?

Mr. Speaker

Order. Questions must be reasonably brief.

Mr. Rees

I would remind my hon. Friend that the legislation to which she refers is for domestic and captive animals. I sympathise with her personal attitude, but probably it would be more appropriate to have individual Bills rather than a collective one which would run into great trouble.