HL Deb 15 February 1983 vol 439 c212WA
Lord Houghton of Sowerby

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What work is in progress at the Worplesdon Laboratory, Tanley, Surrey and (i) whether this includes biology and control of mammals and birds harmful to agriculture and forestry, and (ii) if so, what are the species of birds and mammals being used there, and what is the nature of that use under the 1876 Act.

Earl Ferrers

The primary job of the Worplesdon Laboratory is to develop improved methods of preventing damage to agriculture by harmful mammals and birds, and to provide a sound scientific basis for advice given by ADAS. Some work is also done on aspects of conservation in relation to agriculture. A small section works, in co-operation with the Ministry of Defence and the Civil Aviation Authority, to alleviate the problem of bird strike to aircraft.

The following species are currently being used in the research programmes: rabbit, badger, Japanese quail, feral pigeon, starling, bullfinch, house sparrow and wood pigeon.

Present work under the 1876 Act is concerned with the risks presented to wildlife by agricultural pesticides, the control of rabbits and the food preferences of bullfinches.