HL Deb 27 July 1977 vol 386 cc1117-8WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have received information from the Nature Conservancy Council which would enable them to decide whether or not the otter should be added to Schedule 1 to the Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act 1975.

Baroness STEDMAN

The Nature Conservancy Council has written to the Department of the Environment again on this matter.

The Council's advice is that the otter has become so rare that its status as a British wild creature is endangered in England and Wales by a variety of factors. It is the NCC's considered opinion that any future killing, injuring, taking or attempting these actions constitute an increased threat to this status. The Council is therefore convinced that on present evidence it is justified in making a recommendation under Section 7 of the Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act; namely, that it is necessary in the interest of the proper conservation of the otter for my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to add it to Schedule 1 to the Act in respect of England and Wales.

In the light of this recommendation, my right honourable friend is disposed to make such an order under Section 7 of the Act, to give statutory protection to the otter in England and Wales, and, the Department will therefore immediately begin the necessary consultations.

House adjourned at twenty minutes past eight o'clock.