HL Deb 18 May 1993 vol 545 cc1732-3

7.45 p.m.

Read a third time.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour

My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass.

It was clear on Second Reading that noble Lords who spoke from the Benches opposite and my noble and learned friend Lord Fraser of Carmyllie, who spoke on behalf of the Government, all approved of the Bill's purpose to raise the maximum fine for cruelty to tame and captive animals in Scotland. The Bill brings the maximum fine to Level 5 which is currently set at £5,000. The Bill has continued on its way through your Lordships' House without controversy, and it is unamended.

I must express my gratitude to the noble Lord, Lord Carmichael and to my noble neighbour the noble Lord, Lord Mackie of Benshie, for their interest in and support for the Bill. I should like to reiterate the appreciation expressed by my honourable friend Mr. Bill Walker in another place for the work put into the Bill by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Finally, I thank my noble and learned friend the Minister and his officials in the Scottish Office for their helpful advice and support. I believe that the Bill will be welcomed in Scotland. I hope that your Lordships will pass the Bill this evening. I beg to move.

Moved, that the Bill do now pass.—(Baroness Carnegy of Lour.)

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove

My Lords, the House will be grateful to the noble Baroness for having brought forward the Bill. As she said, the people of Scotland will be glad that she has done so. The fact that there has been no opposition to the Bill shows how appropriate it was to raise it at this time. I can assure her that this side of the House wishes the Bill God's speed with the hope that it will soon become part of the statute book. I thank the noble Baroness for giving us the opportunity to agree with her proposals.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie

My Lords, on behalf of the Government, I, too, should like to thank my noble friend Lady Carnegy for steering the Bill through your Lordships' House. I congratulate her on the efficient and conscientious manner in which she has done so. At the same time, I acknowledge with thanks the contributions made by the noble Lords, Lord Carmichael and Lord Mackie of Benshie, in their support of the Bill and in allowing it, as it appears to be doing now, to move smoothly towards the statute book.

As my noble friend said, it is also right to acknowledge the role played by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in advocating this measure. Once enacted, the provisions of the Bill will enable the courts to impose rather more appropriate sentences. I believe that the Bill will send a signal to the courts of the serious view taken by Parliament of such offences. Like my noble friend, I commend the Bill to the House.

Lord Carmichael of Kelvingrove

My Lords, perhaps I may speak again, and say that this is the first opportunity we have had to congratulate the noble and learned Lord on his recently announced appointment to be the Scottish representative in Europe. We wish him well in that role, but I hope that it will not deprive us of his abilities and judgment. We wish him the felicitations of the House and hope that he will be able to devote his time in future in even measure to both sides of the English Channel. I congratulate him. There could be no better choice for the job than the noble and learned Lord.

Lord Fraser of Carmyllie

My Lords, I respond briefly: I am grateful to the noble Lord for what he had to say. My responsibilities will be essentially those of the co-ordination of matters relating to Europe as they affect Scotland. However, I say with some relief that once a certain Bill arrives at the House, I do not expect that my contribution to it will be in any way extended.

On Question, Bill passed.