§ Mr. Bossom
asked the Minister of Agriculture what he is doing to stop the continued increase in the numbers of rabbits that have now become a pest throughout the country, particularly in Kent; and if he is making any special provision to prevent this recurring next year.
Mr. T. Williams
A conference with representatives of the National Farmers' Union, the Country Landowners' Association and other interests was held recently to consider ways and means of securing a rapid and progressive reduction in the rabbit population. Responsibility for dealing with rabbits rests with occupiers and owners, and the National Farmers' Union and the Country Landowners' Association have asked their county branches to organise voluntary schemes for area control of rabbits. County agricultural executive committees have been instructed to assist and advise in the planning of the schemes, and to exercise their powers under Section 98 of the Agriculture Act, 1947, to require any negligent occupiers and owners to take the necessary action to destroy these pests. The production of gassing powder has been much increased.