HC Deb 17 November 1966 vol 736 cc603-4
2. Mr. Dobson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now prohibit the importation of wild birds except by licence by invoking Section 7 of the Protection of Birds Act, 1954; whether he will refer the mater at once to his Advisory Committee; and what representations he has now received from ornithological societies or other interests on this matter.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Miss Alice Bacon)

No, Sir. No such suggestion has been made to my right hon. Friend by any ornithological society or other interested body.

Mr. Dobson

Is it not a fact that in the last six months no fewer than several hundred birds have been lost, killed in this despicable way, and should not my right hon. Friend tackle the matter and license the import of wild birds to avoid this destruction?

Miss Bacon

The question of safeguards for birds carried by air is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade; but what my hon. Friend is now asking is that we should prohibit imports of all birds, which is a different matter because it would mean that such birds as budgerigars, parrots, and a great many others, would not be able to come into this country at all.