§ Mr. Pawsey
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) at what rate it is estimated that wild mink are increasing in the United Kingdom;
(2) what representations he has received about wild mink in British waterways;
(3) what action he intends to take to reduce the numbers of wild mink;
(4) what reports of damage caused by wild mink he has received over the past three years.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
Mink are now well established in the wild in England and Wales, but my Department has no reliable scientific data on the numbers of mink involved, and comprehensive information about the damage caused is not readily available.
Although not a significant agricultural pest, mink are predators of wildfowl, poultry, fisheries and game and in some cases they may cause damage to certain individual enterprises. The Ministry provides specialist advice to anyone experiencing damage and traps are at present loaned free of charge. Responsibility for control of pests none the less rests with the occupier of land.
I am not aware of any recent representations about wild mink in British waterways.