§ Dr. Cunningham
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many wildlife inspectors are employed in his Department; how many of these are qualified ringers; and if he will give the figures for the last six years.
§ Mr. Ridley
There are currently 105 wildlife inspectors, of whom 53 are qualified ringers. The Wildlife Inspectorate was established following the introduction on 28 September 1982 of part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. By April 1985, 230 inspectors had been appointed, of whom 61 were qualified ringers. In the light of the inspectorate's operating experience, this number was then reduced to 112, of whom 58 were qualified ringers.