HC Deb 21 July 1949 vol 467 cc1547-8
47. Brigadier Thorp

asked the Minister of Agriculture why, in view of the increase in price of skinned rabbits, his executive committees are destroying rabbits by gassing; and what instructions he has issued.

Mr. T. Williams

The maximum reduction of the rabbit population is essential in the interests of food production. Gassing is a most effective method of destruction, and county agricultural executive committees have been instructed to employ this method whenever practicable, and especially after trapping, snaring or ferreting, so as to destroy any potential breeding stock which may remain.

Brigadier Thorp

Would it not be better to use gas where trapping and snaring are not possible?

Mr. Williams

It is probably used in both cases.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that gassing is not always the most effective way of destroying rabbits? If the soil is porous, or has tree roots in it, the gas escapes.

Mr. Williams

I am satisfied from reports from agricultural executive committees that gassing is the best known means of destroying rabbits.

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