HC Deb 18 April 1957 vol 568 cc2098-9
50. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what reports he has received up to the latest date of rabbits increasing in different parts of the country; and in which districts myxomatosis is still effective in checking this increase.

Mr. Godber

The latest report indicates some increase in rabbit numbers in most counties in England and Wales. Myxomatosis will not by itself prevent the rabbit population from building up once again, but in Hampshire, and to a lesser extent in Nottinghamshire and Pembrokeshire, the disease appears to have had some effect in checking the increase.

Mr. Hurd

is my hon. Friend satisfied that the pest officers and pest committees in the counties have been doing their utmost to keep chasing these rabbits and getting farmers to chase them, and will continue to do so even through the breeding season and the summer?

Mr. Godber

Yes, Sir. We are very much aware of the importance of trying to keep this pest within bounds. In the last few months we have carried out a most energetic campaign, during the period that we thought most favourable. We shall continue to do all we possibly can, but my hon. Friend will realise that it is not an easy matter.