HL Deb 09 July 1981 vol 422 cc919-20WA
Lord Houghton of Sowerby

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What methods of destruction of pigeons and other birds in urban areas are permitted under licence by the Ministry of Agriculture to private firms; how many firms are licensed; and what methods of humane destruction are used when birds are first made unconscious by the use of food drugged with alphachloralose.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Ferrers)

Where such licences are issued, the control technique involves the use of a stupefying bait, which is based on alphachloralose. The target species are then collected and humanely destroyed, normally by asphyxiation with carbon dioxide. The licences are issued to named individuals on the basis of their practical experience in pest control. They are valid for one year. There are currently 406 licence-holders.