HC Deb 18 July 1946 vol 425 cc1381-2
51. Mr. Pickthorn

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that in British-controlled Germany wild pigs are seriously interfering with the potato crops and that the shooting of sows with young has been forbidden; and what has been done to make shooting and trapping effective.

Mr. McNeil

I am aware of this danger, but the amount of damage done is relatively small. Firearms cannot be issued freely to the German population, but in areas where wild pigs constitute a real danger the German police have been armed to shoot these vermin, including sows with young. Trapping has, so far, been found to be ineffective. It is not true that the shooting of sows with young has been forbidden.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can the Minister tell us what figures he has about the seriousness of this threat to the food of the popula- tion? How many thousands of lbs. of potatoes are supposed to be destroyed in this way?

Mr. McNeil

I am sorry that I have not the figures, but I can assure the hon. Member that while I was there we investigated this question, and where there is any prevalency British officers as well as the German police are encouraged to shoot wild pigs.