§ 52. Mr. Leslie
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the bad effects of the increasing destruction of poultry by foxes in many rural areas, he will advise farmers, smallholders and poultry keepers to destroy these vermin by shooting or any other satisfactory method, and so preserve essential food from being wasted?
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
My right hon. Friend has been in close touch with the Masters of Foxhounds Association on the subject to which the hon. Member refers. He understands that the association, with a view to protecting the interests of the poultry industry, has taken special measures so as to reduce the fox population by hunting or in other ways in order to prevent damage. The position has been kept constantly under review and my right hon. Friend is continuing to watch it closely.
§ Mr. Leslie
Is the Minister aware that many poultry keepers in the county of Durham do not put out their poultry until late in the forenoon because of the depredations of foxes? Why consult the hunting people? Why not consult the poultry keepers and the smallholders; and deal with foxes as you would with any other pest—destroy them?
§ Sir Archibald Sinclair
Does the reply mean that every possible measure is being taken to keep down foxes which destroy poultry?