HC Deb 14 November 1938 vol 341 cc518-9W
Mr. W. H. Green

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can state the approximate amount of damage done by rats during last year; whether he is satisfied that one national rat week per year represents a sufficient effort to deal with this serious menace; and whether he will consider advising local authorities to organise these rat weeks more frequently?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

I fear that it is not possible to give a reliable estimate of the damage done by rats, but it is common knowledge that the extent of the damage each year is serious. The main object of the national rat week is to focus public attention on the necessity for taking effective action for the destruction of rats and I do not think that, for this purpose, it is necessary for my Department to organise more than one rat week in any year. I have reason to believe that the local authorities, who are responsible for the enforcement of the provisions of the Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919, realise that the suppression of the rat pest calls for continuous effort throughout the year.