HC Deb 26 May 1976 vol 912 cc241-2W
57. Mr. Kimball

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, in the exercise of his powers to license the import of falconidae into Great Britain, he will bear in mind that peregrine and lanner falcons are now bred in captivity abroad and take steps to bring about the exemption of these birds, when imported for falconry, from the terms of the Washington Convention.

Mr. Denis Howell

I already have the hon. Member's point very much in mind. I cannot exempt from licensing species listed in the convention. But I can, and do, license imports of captive bred falconidae for falconry.

Mr. Kimball

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will adopt a more flexible interpretation for the import of falconidae than the suggestion by the Washington Convention of one bird per falconer per annum; and if he will moderate this restriction to relate to the average number of birds of prey imported over the last 10 years.

Mr. Denis Howell

No. We have been restricting imports of falconidae for many years and the limit to which the hon. Member refers does not arise from the convention. It is a guideline adopted by the scientific authority which advises my right hon. Friend in these matters, but I am assured it is not inflexible. Each case is treated on its merits.

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