HC Deb 27 June 1938 vol 337 c1551W
Sir W. Davison

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the arrival at the London Zoological Gardens of a consignment of black widow spiders a bite from one of which results after convulsions in a painful death in a few hours; whether he is aware that these insects have recently bred and added to their number; whether he is satisfied that the public are adequately protected from the serious dangers which would be involved by the escape of any of these insects; and whether their retention in London is because of their use for scientific or medical purposes?

Mr. Lloyd

The attention of my right hon. Friend has been called to the importation of these insects, but he is informed that the two adult specimens, which are on exhibition to the public, are securely caged and that the young spiders are kept in a private laboratory from which they cannot escape. The reason for having these insects is, I understand, the same as the reason for having cobras, rattlesnakes and other dangerous creatures—the interests of zoology.