HC Deb 10 March 1955 vol 538 c616
54. Mr. Renton

asked the Minister of Agriculture when he proposes to issue a licence to Mr. A. Jackson, of Waresley, Huntingdonshire, to import 100 pairs of love birds from Rhodesia.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

The import of birds of the parrot family is banned because imported birds have caused outbreaks of fowl pest and ornithosis among poultry. As a concession, noncommercial breeders are allowed to import small numbers of these birds, and Mr. Jackson has been offered a licence to bring in up to 12 pairs.

Mr. Renton

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are not enough love birds in this country? Is he aware of the sensitivity of these birds to a change in climate and that they suffer heavy casualty rates in transit from Africa? Will he, therefore, not agree that to import 100 pairs is not excessive? Will he look at this matter again with greater sympathy when I have given him some more facts?

Mr. Mellish

Would it not be a good idea if we left them in Africa to enjoy themselves?

Mr. Nugent

I am afraid that I cannot look again at this matter, because we have already extended the concession as far as we can to the 12 pairs, unless my hon. and learned Friend would like to ask for another pair to give to Members of the Opposition.

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