A few years back I ran a series of curiosities found by perusing the back copies of Hansard, which included the big question: Is the horse an agricultural animal?, something which came up not only in the 1980s but also in the 1990s.
I was reminded of this by a more recent horse-definition exchange, as reported by the York Press:
MPs have agreed expanding the definition of horse to include ponies is not necessary for proposed new laws on controlling fly grazing, being sponsored by a York MP.
In bizarre exchanges, Tory James Arbuthnot moved an amendment to the Control of Horses Bill which would have added pony and jennet to the included animals covered by the Bill…
Liberal Democrat David Heath intervened and said: “I do think the normal definition of a horse would involve anything which was of the same species as a horse, which is to say equus ferus caballus, which ponies and jennets are.
“The reason donkeys are separately identified is because they are not the same species – they are equus africanus asinus if I remember correctly, so they have to defined separately.”
Hat-tip for the York Press story: Helen Duffett’s emails with Lib Dem news.