§ Mr. Swingler
asked the Minister of Agriculture why he estimates it will take as long as four years so to increase the supplies of suitable humane traps as to enable him to prohibit the sale and use of gin traps; and if he will take steps to shorten this period.
§ Sir T. Dugdale
In my judgment existing humane traps have not shown the all-round efficiency that would justify banning the use of the gin trap. Trials of new and improved traps can only be conducted during the trapping season, which lasts for six or seven months. I am satisfied that at least two seasons will be required to try out new and improved designs of traps. This work will be speeded up and assisted by the Humane Traps Advisory Committee, which the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are proposing to appoint. If, as we hope, after two trapping seasons satisfactory alternative traps have been developed, two further trapping seasons will be needed to allow for their mass-production and distribution, and for those concerned to become proficient in their use before the gin trap is prohibited. I am satisfied we cannot shorten the period; and that we shall do well if humane traps of proved all-round efficiency are made generally available in the time we have set ourselves.