§ MR. J. M. MACLEAN (Oldham)
asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether Act XX., of 1887, of the Legislative Council of India, entitled "An Act for the protection of wild birds and game," has not become almost a dead letter through being limited in its operation to municipalities and cantonments, while the trade in birds' feather, is so very lucrative that, in the rural districts, the agriculturists even sell their ploughs and bullocks to buy guns and ammunition and engage in this pursuit; whether it is not the case that most of the birds whose feathers are in demand only develop plumage during the breeding season, so that, as they are shot wherever they can be found there is great danger of the speedy extermination of birds which protect the crops from the ravages of destructive insects; and, whether, in the interests of agriculture, the Act cannot be extended to the whole of British India, as recommended by Mr. Rainey, the well-known Indian naturalist?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE (Sir JOHN GORST) (Chatham)
The Act as to wild birds referred to received the assent of the Governor General on October 21, 1887. It has therefore, been scarcely long enough in operation to see whether it will be effective to prevent the evils complained of in the Question.