HL Deb 21 July 1864 vol 176 cc1787-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, that it had frequently happened that valuable animals, the property of other persons, had been destroyed by eating poisoned meat laid for the destruction of vermin; and this evil the Bill was intended to remedy. The principle of the measure was precisely the same as was sanctioned by Parliament last year in reference to poisoned grain.

Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a—(Lord Redesdale.)


said, that the second clause imposed a penalty of £10 for placing poisoned meat or other matter upon any land; and the consequence would be that the owner of any house or stack could not place poison, even in his own garden, for the destruction of rats, without incurring a penalty. It would be for their Lordships to consider whether the clause should not be modified.


observed that by an exception in the first clause, an owner or occupier of land in Ireland could not place poisoned matter upon the land without first posting a notice that such was done; but he (Lord Chelmsford) could not understand how this notice would prevent dogs eating the poisoned meat.


said, that he was not responsible for the details, for the measure had been altered in the Commons; and their Lordships know that in the other House exceptions with reference to Ireland were often inserted in measures which were under consideration. If the Bill were now road a second time the details could be considered in Committee.


thought that the exception practically excepted Ireland from the operation of the Bill, and in his opinion it was very desirable that England should be excepted also.


thought it hardly desirable to proceed further with the Bill this Session.


thought that the putting of poisonous substances upon land by gamekeepers for the destruction of vermin was a great and growing evil; and in the south of Scotland he could state of his own knowledge that where strychnine had been used valuable shepherds' dogs had been killed by eating the poisoned vermin.


said, he also knew that dogs and pigs were frequently poisoned, and pheasants likewise were destroyed. It was a curious and well-known fact in natural history, that though the maggots generated in the poisoned carcasses were not affected by the poison, yet they communicated the destructive effects to birds that eat them. Every reason which applied to putting poisoned grain upon land applied also to the placing of poisoned meat there.


said, he was certainly not in favour of laying poison for small birds, which, so far from being noxious, were extremely useful. If he could prevent the poisoning of foxes, and at the same time allow the poisoning of vermin, he would do so; but this Bill would prevent the latter, and would thus occasion serious inconvenience and injury. This was not a fox-preserving question on the one side and a game-preserving question on the other. It should be looked at as neither of those questions; but, believing that the Bill would be productive of mischief on the whole, he moved that it be read a second time this day three months.

Amendment moved, to leave out ("now") and insert ("this Day Three Months").—(Lord Wodehouse.)


hoped their Lordships would not reject this Bill on the second reading. Many of the points to which objection had been made could be amended in Committee. He was sure that if in the Bill for prohibiting poisoned grain which passed last year a clause had been introduced to prohibit poisoned flesh it also would have been passed. Some noble Lords were most anxious to destroy the birds and others to destroy the animals. He knew that it was a practice of keepers to poison rabbits with strychnine, and place them in preserves to poison vermin. Now, if one of these rabbits should be picked up by any passer-by and eaten, the consequences might be deplorable.

On Question, That ("now") stand part of the Motion? Their Lordships divided:—Contents 31; Not-Contents 18: Majority 13.

Resolved in the Affirmative: Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.

Westbury, L. (L. Chancellor.) Churston, L.
Colchester, L.
De Mauley, L.
Buckingham and Chandos, D. Denman, L.
De Talby, L.
Dunsany, L.
Westminster, M. Ebury, L
Foley, L.
Amherst, E. Llanover, L.
Doncaster, E. (D. Bucleuch and Queensbury). Mostyn, L.
Portman, L.
Redesdale, L. [Teller.]
Harrowby, E. Silchester, L. (E. Longford).
Nelson, E.
Romney, E. Somerhill, L. (M. Clanricarde.)
Saint Germans, E.
Shrewsbury, E. Stratheden, L.
Falmouth, V. Taunton, L.
Templemore, L.
Camoys, L. [Teller.] Wensleydale, L,
Churchill, L.
Armagh, Archbp. Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore).
Somerset, D.
Chelmsford, L.
Bath, M. [Teller.] Dartrey, L. (L. Cremorne).
Airlie, E, Hatherton, L.
Chichester, E. Monson, L.
De Grey, E. Stanley of Alderley, L.
Malmesbury, E. Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll)
Powis, E.
Wodehouse, L.[Teller.]
Hawarden, V. Wynford, L.