HC Deb 03 June 1954 vol 528 cc1448-9
40. Mr. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will consider giving a reward for pigeons' feet instead of subsidising cartridges for pigeon shooting.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (Sir Thomas Dugdale)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Sir A. Bossom) on 13th May last.

Mr. Williams

Is the Minister not aware that there must be some considerable misuse of these cartridges? In view of the success of the grey squirrels scheme, does he not consider that more pigeons would be killed by a scheme such as that suggested—with less likelihood of homing pigeons being shot—than by the present method of subsidising cartridges?

Sir T. Dugdale

We have considered all the points, and on the whole we think that the present scheme is best. We reckon that during the last season more than 1½ million wood pigeons were destroyed at a cost of about £30,000. We estimate that, in a year, a wood pigeon eats between 10s. and £1 worth of food.

Mr. T. Williams

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree with his hon. Friend that wood pigeons' feet could always be recognised?

Sir T. Dugdale

No, Sir.

51. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will suggest to organisations of farmers and farm workers that on a particular Saturday in January, 1955, a special effort be made to destroy wild pigeons.

Sir T. Dugdale

Organised shoots over wide areas took place on the same day on a number of occasions last season. The Land Pests Advisory Committee has provisionally recommended that Saturday would be the most convenient day of the week for these shoots; and I will consider this suggestion in connection with next season's arrangements.