HC Deb 08 April 1960 vol 621 cc73-4W
Lady Tweedsmuir

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the nature of the differences between the 1950 International Convention for the Protection of Birds and the Protection of Birds Act, 1954, which have prevented the United Kingdom from signing the Convention.

Mr. R. A. Butler

1. The provisions of the Act of 1954 allowing the taking of eggs of common birds specified in an Order made by the Secretary of State and the taking and sale of gulls' eggs and, up to 15th April in any year, of lapwings' eggs are inconsistent with the Convention.

2. The Convention prohibits exports and gifts, imports and the sale of all live birds. The Act does not prohibit exports, and the prohibitions on importing and selling alive only apply to certain species.

3. The Convention appears to require the prohibition of certain methods of killing or capture of birds which are not prohibited by the Act.

4. The Convention also appears to call for Government action on such matters as publicity and education on bird protection, which in this country are regarded as matters for local or voluntary action.

5. The Convention does not provide for ratification in part or with reservations.