HC Deb 04 February 1937 vol 319 cc1774-5
80. Captain Peter Macdonald

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the widespread complaints of British farmers in regard to the importation into this country of dead rabbits; and whether he will reconsider the question of encouraging the destruction of rabbits in this country by means of a scheme for controlling the imports of dead rabbits from abroad?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

As regards the first part of the question, I would point out that annual imports of dead rabbits have declined by more than half since 1934. As my hon. and gallant Friend will be aware, the whole problem of the better protection of agriculture and the land against the ravages of rabbits is at present under consideration by a Select Committee in another place.

Captain Macdonald

Has the Minister any idea when the Select Committee is likely to report?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir, I cannot say.

Captain Macdonald

Is he proposing to allow the import of dead rabbits while rabbits in this country are causing this wholesale destruction?

Mr. Morrison

I do not think the importation of dead rabbits is a very important factor in the larger question.

Mr. T. Williams

Is the Minister not aware that in South Yorkshire, whenever a miner tries to rid a farmer of his rabbits, he gets three months' hard labour?

Forward to