§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if, on behalf of Her Majesty's 399W Government, he intends to sign both articles 10 and 21 of the European convention on the mutilation of animals concerning tail docking of dogs; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what representations he has received about signing article 10 but not article 21 of the European convention on the mutilation of animals.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Tail docking is one of the subjects covered in the European convention for the protection of pet animals. It was also raised in a report on animal mutilations by a working party of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Consultation on that report has now been completed; I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Gower (Mr. Wardell) on 15 July 1988 for a list of the organisations involved. In addition, I have received representations from several hon. Members, some correspondence from members of the public and a number of petitions on this subject. We shall consult interested organisations on all the provisions of the convention before deciding how to proceed.