HC Deb 01 August 1952 vol 504 cc199-200W
Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the new improved sawyer trap has now been accepted by his Department as a satisfactory substitute for the gin trap for the destruction of rabbits; what allocations of steel for their manufacture he is authorising; how many traps he will authorise to be made during the present year, and what will be the future authorised annual output; whether he will control the price for retail and wholesale distribution, and what those prices will be; and whether he will prohibit the use of the gin trap, and if he will, meanwhile, prohibit any further ones being manufactured or sold.

Sir T. Dugdale

Tests in England and Wales appear to indicate that the new sawyer trap is a satisfactory substitute for the gin for catching rabbits, and I have given instructions for its use in the Ministry's Contract Service. Further experience will be gained in this way about its precise application in everyday conditions.

Apart from arranging with the Ministry of Supply for an adequate supply of steel, which my Department has done, I am not responsible for the manufacture of the trap on a commercial scale, but I understand that this is in hand. I do not yet know precisely what the output or the price will be, but I hope that the former will be sufficient to meet the demand and the latter reasonable. I have no power to prohibit the manufacture, sale or use of gin traps.