§ 2. Mr. Anthony Greenwood
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what complaints he has received from the National Farmers' Union about the importation of foxes into Westmorland; and what action he has taken.
§ Mr. Greenwood
Is the Minister aware that on 2nd and 9th April the "Westmorland Gazette" reported complaints that had been made to the Kendal branch of the National Farmers' Union that foxes recently shot in the area had punch marks on their ears, and that crates of foxes had been seen on Oxenholme Station? Could 1274 the right hon. Gentleman look into the allegations made?
I have no powers to interfere with the import or export of foxes into Westmorland, but I understand that there are a large number of foxes in Westmorland, and if a trade is taking place I should have expected it to be an export and not an import trade.
When an hon. Member wants to hunt foxes with or without holes punched in their ears in the constituency of another hon. Member, or for that matter to look for red herrings, is it not much more in keeping with the customs of this House that he should give the hon. Member concerned notice that he intends to do so?
§ Mr. Greenwood
Are we to gather from the Answer of the Minister that he has no objection if foxes are moved from one part of the country to another, and would it not be much better to concentrate upon extinguishing them as a pest rather than allowing their forcible movement from one part to another?
I am entirely in favour of the number of foxes being kept under strict control, whatever part of the country they are in, and I hope that my remarks will not be taken as being approval of the transferring of foxes from one part of the country to another.