HC Deb 07 February 1963 vol 671 cc653-4
21. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what limitations he is proposing under the Animal (Cruel Poisons) Act, 1962, on the use of rodenticides.

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend is consulting with representatives of those interested in this question about the scope of the regulations to be made.

Mr. Boyden

Would the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that no regular poison which is used against rats and mice will be prohibited until there is an effective alternative?

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend cannot give an assurance until he has finished consulting all the interests which have made representations to him on this subject.

Mr. Fletcher

Surely we are not to have ridiculous sentiment about rats, or are we? Cannot the Home Secretary give us a definite assurance that local authorities, which in London or elsewhere are carrying on a continous fight against the menace to health which rats cause, will not find that he will prohibit the use of poisons like red squill or other effective rodenticides?

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend will not place any handicaps before a campaign against rats, but I cannot give such an assurance as the hon. Member seeks before we have received and considered all the representations being made.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that the poison which is particularly important in keeping pests down is Warfarin? Is he aware that it would be a bad thing not also to bear in mind that there are some poisons which definitely deserve to be removed from the authorised list?

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend will bear both those points in mind.