HC Deb 19 November 1959 vol 613 cc1328-9
27. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the cost of preparing and presenting to Parliament the Order, dated 2nd November, 1959, authorising the landing at Bromborough of one wart-hog; and whether, in the interests of economy, he will consider simplifying the regulations with regard to the importation of animals into this country.

Mr. Godber

The total cost of preparing, duplicating and publishing the Order and presenting it to Parliament is estimated at £14, and of this the cost of presentation to Parliament is about £1. For disease reasons the importation of animals must be controlled. The present procedure seems to work well at no great cost to public funds and I do not think there is much to be said for amending legislation.

Mr. Janner

Does not the hon. Gentleman think that he ought not to clutter up Order Papers with Orders of this description for one single animal? Might not he have included at least one or two others of the same genus phacochœrus at the time he was making this Order?

Mr. Godber

I am sorry the hon. Member thinks we were cluttering up the Order Paper. I think it was a valuable thing to bring before Parliament the notable introduction of this animal. After all, there are only a few and we had only seven of these Orders last year. Parliament does not mind being enlightened on these things.

Mr. Mitchison

Why was this animal detained in the nurseries?

Mr. Godber

It was detained for a period of quarantine and, so far as I am aware, the animal itself did not object at all to that procedure.

Sir. G. Nicholson

Why was this wart-hog imported? Is my hon. Friend aware of the urgent need to develop the wart-hog industry of this country? Is he aware that wart-hogs should be treated with great sympathy because they are highly sensitive about being wart-hogs?

Mr. Godber

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's concern in this matter. I shall certainly take the greatest interest in the future career of this particular wart-hog and, if necessary, will keep him informed.