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Second Schedule—(Acts Which May Be Cited Together)

Volume 527: debated on Friday 21 May 1954

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Further Amendments made: In page 3, line 38, at end, insert:

Any Act passed during the present Session of Parliament relating to penalties for offences of cruelty to animals in England and Wales.

In line 45, at end, add:

Any Act passed during the present Session of Parliament relating to penalties for offences of cruelty to animals in Scotland.—[Viscountess Davidson.]

2.1 p.m.

I beg to move. "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

I am sure that it would not be the general wish that I should take up much of the time of the House on Third Reading, seeing how tolerant Members were of the long exposition which I gave on the occasion of the Second Reading of the Bill. I should, however, like to thank all those who have made it possible for me, as a layman, to deal with the very technical questions involved. I thank not only those hon. Members who have given me their full support but also those who, having raised various points during the Second Reading debate and in Committee, have been good enough to accept my case or to agree to a reasonable compromise.

I thank the officers and advisers of the British Veterinary Association, by whom the Bill was prepared. Their initiative and public spirit in this matter is most praiseworthy. I am also grateful to the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland and their advisers, who have been extremely co-operative.

I am sure that this Bill will be welcomed by all those concerned with the welfare and good treatment of animals. It will be particularly satisfactory to the veterinary profession to know that by their own efforts the advances made in recent years in scientific knowledge about animal anaesthetics will be applied under the provisions of up-to-date legislation. It has been a great pleasure and privilege to have steered this Bill so far on its way through the House, and I hope that it will receive a Third Reading without question.

2.3 p.m.

Though I do not wish to detain the House, I think that someone from this side might indicate that we are very much obliged to the noble Lady the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson) for introducing this Measure. It has had the support not only of Members on her side of the House but also on this side.

It is rather interesting to reflect that, of the four Bills with which we have dealt today, three have been for the greater protection of so-called dumb animals and birds. This Measure is not the least of those with which we have dealt today, and I should like to congratulate the noble Lady for having seen it safely through.

Might I add the congratulations of the Government to the noble Lady on her skill in carrying this Measure through?

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.