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Response or Comment

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Long experience with unsuccessful attempts by British animal welfare groups to promote private members' bills for reform or rep I a cement of the 1876 Cruelty to Animals Act (Viet. C. 77, 1876) has convinced reformists that achieving this kind of change by lobbying Parliament may be impossible. It was for this reason that a small reformist group- spearheaded by the ex-chairman of the Labour Party, Lord Houghton, and an eminent surgeon, the late Lord Platt- was formed and drafted reform proposals in a document widely known as the Houghton/Piatt Memorandum (paper submitted to the Home Secretary, 1976). This report called for a substantial tightening up of controls already established under the 1876 Act. All of these modifications, the report noted, could have been effected by administrative action alone.