HC Deb 28 November 1956 vol 561 cc55-6W
Sir A. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to prevent a large rabbit

counties in Wales for the Agricultural Apprenticeship Scheme.

Mr. Amory

I understand from the Agricultural Apprenticeship Council that on 31st October, 1956, the figures for the counties in Wales and Monmouth were as follows:

population again building up during the coming winter.

Mr. Amory

We have already launched this winter a campaign against the remaining rabbits, and this has the full support of the National Farmers' Union, the Country Landowners' Association, and the Agricultural Workers' Unions. One of the main features of this campaign will be to encourage the further formation of local committees of landowners and farmers which, working in collaboration with C.A.E.C.'s, are, in my view, the best means of securing cooperative action to keep rabbit numbers down.

Financial assistance towards the cost of gassing powder and clearing scrubland is being continued, and I am authorising county agricultural executive committees to deal with rabbits on derelict land for which no owner or occupier can be found, as well as on common land. Every suitable means of publicity will be used to bring home to all the great importance of destroying rabbits over the next few months. I am convinced that the campaign this winter is crucial if we are to stand a reasonable chance of controlling the numbers of rabbits in the future, and I would appeal for the co-operation of all who work or live in the countryside to help in this important job.