Private Zoological Gardens.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 29th July 1937.

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Photo of Sir Frederick Messer Sir Frederick Messer , Tottenham South

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the capture of an escaped wolf at a private zoological garden at Dudley, Worcestershire; whether he is aware that bombs and fireworks were used in an endeavour to drive it from an outhouse where it had taken refuge and that after two hours suffering it was forced in a very sick condition into a cage; that a bear has twice escaped from the same zoological garden and on each occasion was stunned before being recaptured; and that at a private zoological garden in Liverpool a keeper was lately killed by a leopard; and whether, in view of the suffering entailed to the animals and of the danger to human beings, he will consider legislation to make privately-owned zoological gardens and travelling menageries illegal?

Photo of Mr Samuel Hoare Mr Samuel Hoare , Chelsea

I have made inquiries in regard to these cases, but, as at present advised, I do not think that they afford any grounds for legislation on the lines suggested by the hon. Member.

Photo of Sir Frederick Messer Sir Frederick Messer , Tottenham South

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in view of the large number of animals which have recently escaped from private zoos it is desirable in the interests of the public that stricter supervision should be exercised, and is it not possible for some efficient method of control to be established?

Photo of Mr Samuel Hoare Mr Samuel Hoare , Chelsea

My information does not go to support the allegation that there have been many cases. My information is that these cases have not involved either cruelty to animals or injury to the public, and in the circumstances I do not think further legislation is necessary.