HC Deb 29 July 1949 vol 467 cc187-8W
Mr. N. Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received regarding the increase in the number of foxes in Forestry Commission plantations and the use of poison to keep it in check; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Woodburn

During the last 12 months only five complaints have been received by the Forestry Commission regarding damage by foxes alleged to come from Forestry Commission lands. None of these, however, suggested that the number of foxes had increased. A suggestion that strychnine should be used in plantations has been received but its use is dangerous and illegal. The Forestry Commission and the Department of Agriculture for Scotland are, however, co-operating in trying out other poisons.

The Forestry Commission employ trappers in all their forests and pay them a normal wage plus a bonus for foxes and cubs killed. In addition the Commission co-operate in organised schemes for the destruction of foxes by contributing to local clubs and associations. The numbers of foxes killed by the Commission in Scotland in 1947 was 940 and in 1948 was 1,207.

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