HC Deb 23 May 1985 vol 79 cc551-2W
Mr. Hancock

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what action he is taking to protect the fruit-growing areas of south Hampshire from the brown tail moth caterpillar;

(2) what information he has about the incidence of serious infestations of the brown tail moth; and what is his policy towards its control.

Mrs. Fenner

The brown tail moth caterpillar occurs mainly in the coastal areas of Hampshire, Sussex, Kent, Essex and Suffolk. The moth is not regarded as an agricultural pest and responsibility for any necessary control rests with the growers. I have no knowledge of any serious orchard infestation.

The Agricultural Development and Advisory Service provides information on the habitat and control of this caterpillar in leaflet 40—"Web-forming Caterpillars"—copies of which have been placed in the library of the House.