§ Mr. J. Lindsay
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the increase in the rabbit population, what further steps he proposes for assisting occupiers in carrying out their responsibility to deal with rabbits on their land.
§ Mr. Godber
The responsibility of occupiers for dealing with rabbits on their land can best be secured through co-ordinated action. The Government have therefore decided to offer a grant, which will be taken into account for the purposes of the Annual Review, on a £ for £ basis towards the cost of rabbit clearance by a group of occupiers, covering a sufficient area, forming a rabbit clearance society in Great Britain. To qualify for grant, a society will be required to draw up and carry out an effective plan for dealing with rabbits on members' land and to employ such staff as may be necessary for that purpose. These proposals have the support of all the interested organisations, and the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. Friend hope that full advantage will be taken of them. The working of these arrangements will be kept under close review by the Advisory Council on Rabbit Clearance.