HC Deb 02 July 1897 vol 50 cc957-8
SIR MARK STEWART (Kirkcudbright)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate, on what grounds do the Inland Revenue authorities hold, contrary to the decision of the Court of Session in the case of Gosling v. Brown, that rabbits are not vermin in relation to agriculture, and that farmers in Scotland require to take out a gun licence before shooting rabbits for protection of their crops, the Gun Licence Act expressly providing that no such licence should be required by a farmer for shooting vermin?


The decision in the case referred to was arrived at by a majority of two Judges to one. I am informed that the Board of Inland Revenue were advised that the decision was erroneous. They have therefore continued to hold that licence duty was chargeable in such cases with a view of obtaining a final decision from the superior Court as soon as an opportunity occurred. No case, however, has occurred in which the view of the Board has been challenged by appeal to a Court of law, but the Board would be glad if such an opportunity were afforded.