§ Mr. Kevin McNamara (Kingston upon Hull, Central)
With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to present a petition on the subject of live hare coursing.
Many of my hon. Friends and I have been concerned over the years to try to ensure that this barbaric sport was legislated against and banned in this country. This petition contains 1,028,365 signatures collected in the space of four months. That shows the concern felt throughout the country, amongst all classes in rural and urban communities, that this barbarism should be abolished.
You will be aware, Mr. Speaker, that the Government have now presented a Bill, which has received its First Reading, to get rid of what the Prime Minister called a barbarous anachronism. This petition, and the work of my hon. Friends and I, who have fought over many years on this matter, supports the Government's decision.
The petition reads:
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
The humble Petition of Members and Supporters of the League Against Cruel Sports, Sheweth
That the coursing of live hares for competition or sport inflicts unnecessary cruelty and is therefore unjustifiable.
Wherefore your Petitioners pray the practice of hare coursing be prohibited by law.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.
§ To lie upon the Table.