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IVOR WYNNE JONES.

Byline: FORTHRIGHT & FEARLESS

RUMOUR has it that mouse hunting will be banned if Labour is returned at next year's general election. It will become a Socialist offence to allow one's cat to chase mice.

An amendment to the Mouse Hunting Bill is already being devised to prohibit cats from chasing insects.

One saw its forerunner a few days ago, when animal rights stalwarts stopped a bizarre charity stunt at the Welsh College of Horticulture, in Northop.

College staff had undertaken to eat insects to raise money for Children in Need -- perhaps mindful of the fact that this is what children have to do to try to keep themselves alive in certain parts of our sorry world.

The protesters first tried to enlist the support of the RSPCA but were told animal cruelty laws related only to creatures with a spine and skull.

Nevertheless, the college staff backed down and agreed to leave the insects to be eaten by bigger insects at the college, having been specially bred as part of the food chain.

No doubt that will also feed some future private member's Bill aimed at bringing invertebrate creatures within the orbit of animal cruelty legislation.

After the draconian use of obscure Parliamentary powers has been used to force the Queen to sign the Mouse Hunting Bill and the Cruelty to Insects Amendment Bill, perhaps the Welsh Assembly will turn its attention to dragon-baiting by English TV presenters.

When all that is out of the way our MPs and AMs may be able to devote a little of their well-paid time to the matter of cruelty to human beings.

For instance, children in North Wales now go to school in fear of being stabbed.

Without so much as a whimper from our legislators, knives have become part of the primitive revival of ancient Welsh tribal hunting culture.

Then there are lopsided court cases where victims of crime have been prosecuted for hunting burglars, in an environment where a senior police officer tells us we should feel sorry for the disadvantaged drug-soaked burglar who is the real victim of his own crime.

What about the inhumanity of all those responsible for forcing a Colwyn Bay teenager to suffer toothache for several days, until he had to be given emergency surgery when his abscess grew so large that it cut off his air supply?

If the lad had allowed that to happen to his dog or his pet mouse he would probably have been prosecuted for cruelty. Now we are threatened with the mental cruelty of a general election devoted to time-wasting opposing political arguments about the issue of fox hunting.

Are our elected representatives really so remote from real life as to believe the fate of the fox is the nation's biggest problem?

Ambitious chancellor Gordon Brown is now pondering how to raise our taxes to fill a big hole in the Treasury's pocket.

Have any of our Parliamentarians had the gumption to ask him how much he has wasted on our illegal manhunt in Iraq?
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2004
Words:505
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