Publicans welcome move to permit breastfeeding

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Related tags: Public places, United kingdom, Wales, Infant

Publicans have given a cautious welcome to a move to give new mothers the legal right to breastfeed in pubs and other public places. A new Single...

Publicans have given a cautious welcome to a move to give new mothers the legal right to breastfeed in pubs and other public places.

A new Single Equalities Bill is set to make it an offence for anyone to prevent a mother from breastfeeding a baby under six months old.

The measure - which has already been law in Scotland for four years - is due to be introduced in England and Wales later this year.

Breastfeeding has often divided publicans, with some believing it puts off other customers - but licensees contacted by The Publican last week said they would not object if the new Bill becomes law.

Joe Cussens, of the Marlborough Tavern in Bath, Somerset said he did not object to the plan.

"Frankly if any licensee does have a problem with this, they've got a problem themselves! I don't find it offensive and I don't think any of our customers would - as long as the mother is discreet," he said.

"It's more of an issue if children are screaming the place down."

Nigel Anstead, licensee at the White Horse, Bedford, said: "It's the most natural thing for a woman to do - but there's a difference between flaunting it and doing it discreetly.

"As long as it's carried out in a discreet and sensible way I don't object to it."

Pamela Connolly, of the Plough Inn in Aberaman in South Wales, added: "Mothers have got to get out of the house at some time haven't they - and their babies have got to eat."

The move will be debated in the House of Commons later this year. The Cabinet Office said the government was keen to give mothers complete confidence to breastfeed while going about their normal business.

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