§ Mr. Morley
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what legal provisions apply to(a) the keeping of and (b) the commercial breeding and farming of chinchilla; and what steps his Department takes to ensure inspection and enforcement;213W
(2) what guidelines or standards are laid down on the keeping of chinchilla with particular reference to minimum cage size.
§ Mr. Soames
There is no legislation relating specifically to the keeping of chinchilla. Any chinchilla kept on agricultural land for farming purposes, including fur production, would be subject to the general animal welfare provisions of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 and inspection by the state veterinary service. I am not, however, aware that any chinchilla are currently kept in the United Kingdom for such purposes.
The keeping of chinchilla for other purposes, like that of all domestic and captive animals, is covered by the Protection of Animals Act 1911 which is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department. The Act makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal. In addition, pet shops are licensed by local authorities, which have the right of inspection under the Pet Animals Act 1951.