HC Deb 29 June 1972 vol 839 c1640
4. Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions have been secured, in the last two years, for the use of pole traps; and if he will consider taking further steps to prevent the use of this illegal device.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Lane)

I regret that the information asked for in the first part of the Question is not available. The use of these devices is prohibited by Section 5 of the Protection of Birds Act, 1954, and my right hon. Friend has no further legislative proposals in mind.

Mr. Hardy

Will the hon. Gentleman reconsider this matter? Is he not aware that conviction appears to depend entirely upon an admission of guilt in this situation? Pole trapping is continuing on many estates. Is he aware that in recent months over 100 birds of prey have been poled, including the golden eagle and the merlin, both of which are supposed to be fully protected?

Mr. Lane

I will look at the matter again and will consider any further information the hon. Gentleman likes to send me. The latest figures available show that in 1969 and 1970 together a total of 17 persons were convicted of killing or taking wild birds by prohibited methods of all kinds.