§ [No. 9]
Clause 8, page 3, line 10, at end insert—
(2) It shall not be an offence under section 3 of this Act for any person to have a live badger in his possession or under his control if—
(3) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under this Act by reason only of something done in connection with an experiment on a living badger if what is done does not constitute a contravention of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876.
THE EARL OF ARRAN
My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 9. When the Bill left this House, there was some risk—of which I was very conscious—that people already owning badgers might find themselves contravening the law. Indeed, I have had several agonising letters from badger owners who fear that they might suddenly 1762 find themselves having to let badgers fend for themselves, in which case many might die. In short, this Amendment is designed to protect the position of those who at present keep badgers, and I heartily commend it to the House. Subsection (3) of the Amendment applies the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 to this Bill. I think that this is desirable. Although it means that experiments may be carried out on badgers, they are not normally used as laboratory animals and the only reason why experiments would ever be conducted on one is in the interests of the badger himself and of his conservation.
§ Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(The Earl of Arran.)
VISCOUNT COLVILLE OF CULROSS
My Lords, I am very glad indeed that the noble Earl has put in this Amendment about the 1876 Act, however sinister it may look. There are likely to be extremely few occasions when this is ever invoked, but the badger must be protected and there may be occasions when it is necessary for somebody to do some research on diseases which are transmitted by badgers, or something of that sort. I truly believe that if we did not have this Amendment it would be to the detriment of the well-being of the badger and of his preservation. I am very glad indeed that the noble Earl has commended this Amendment to the House.