HC Deb 15 April 1907 vol 172 c584

To ask the Secretary of State for India whether the Government of India still offers rewards for killing snakes; and, if so, whether, in view of the effect of such expenditure in encouraging professional snake charmers to breed poisonous snakes for the sake of the reward, and that any otherwise unexplained death is generally returned as due to snake bite by the village registrar, and in view of the efforts being made by the Government of India to discover an antidote against the snake venom, he will consider the propriety of inviting that Government to save the money spent upon such rewards.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Morley.) Rewards for the destruction of snakes are not offered by the Government of India, but local Governments are authorised to offer them to such extent as they think fit. As the total amount thus spent from Government funds throughout India does not usually exceed £200 per annum, I do not think there is any occasion to interfere with this discretionary power.