Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

A WHILE ago in this column I mentioned the backbenchers who use their once-in-a-lifetime chance to table a private member's Bill to try to outlaw something to do with furry little animals. Well, they're at it again, and this time they have got in their sights the nation's pet shops. Kerry Pollard, Labour MP for St Albans, has tabled an Early Day Motion condemning the chain-store Focus Do-It-All for selling live animals through its Petworld outlets. There is no suggestion that the shop is maltreating animals; rather, the motion `regrets the concept of trading in live animals' and calls for legislation to ban it.

In other words, the 24 mostly Labour MPs who signed the motion view the buying and selling of pets as equivalent to the slave trade. The woman who crooned `How much is that doggy in the window?', the six-year-old boy who drops grains of pet food lovingly into his hamster's cage, the farmer who takes his pigs to market rather than consuming the meat himself; they are all as bad as those 18th-century Liverpudlian swells who made their fortune by chaining together negroes and shipping them across the Atlantic. …

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