HC Deb 05 May 1960 vol 622 cc1247-8
27. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the cost of preparing and presenting the Order, dated 7th April, 1960, authorising the landing of two more wart hogs at Bromborough; and what is the reason for this further importation of wart hogs.

Mr. Hare

The total cost of preparing, duplicating and publishing the Order and presenting it to Parliament is estimated at £14.

The wart hog the hon. Member was previously interested in was for Chester Zoo, while these two wart hogs were imported for exhibition in the Zoological Gardens at Manchester.

Mr. Janner

I appreciate the commendable object of bringing in the wart hogs, but is this not a rather heavy and comparatively costly piece of machinery to use to bring in two pets? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that he might adopt a method similar to that adopted in respect of road hogs, and charge nothing for a wart hog coming in?

Mr. Hare

I do not know about their being pets, and I am not sure about the last remark made by the hon. Member, but I do not propose to encourage long-term contracts for wart hogs, and I rather agree with what he says about the machinery. I am considering making standing orders in respect of a limited number of urban zoos which will enable them to import ruminating animals and swine under the veterinary provisions of the standing orders, thus avoiding the need to make a separate order on each occasion.

Mr. Mackie

Is the Minister aware that if the two wart hogs are of opposite gender there will be no necessity for this provision?

Sir G. Nicholson

Will my right hon. Friend take steps to see that people do-not mock these animals? They feel it very deeply. Is he aware that to the male wart hog the female wart hog is of supreme beauty, and their family life might be a model to us all?

Mr. Hare

My hon. Friend has a very great knowledge of these matters, and we all appreciate the great efforts he makes to ensure that the sensitivity of these animals is kept properly in mind.