HC Deb 18 November 1964 vol 702 cc431-2
27. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware of the increase in malicious damage on farms, especially near big cities, involving damage to farm buildings and other fixed equipment, and cruelty to livestock; and if he will take steps to prevent this.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. John Mackie)

My Depart- ment has received no recent representations on this subject, and does not keep any figures of such damage. I am confident that the police do all they can to prevent these offences, and I would advise farmers generally to keep in close touch with the police about measures which would be useful to protect their property.

Mr. Digby

Is there not increasing anxiety in the farming community on this subject? Would the hon. Gentleman consult with his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary about it?

Mr. Mackie

I would be loath to think that there is tremendous anxiety on the subject. I farm in the midst of what is probably the biggest built-up area, only 19 miles from where we are sitting, and I have had no damage at all in the past 12 years. However, I know that there are complaints and I will certainly take this matter up with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.