HC Deb 16 November 1987 vol 122 cc420-1W
Mr. Ron Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his reply of 5 November,Official Report, column 858. he will list as precisely as possible the areas from which sparrow-hawks, merlin and peregrine falcons were taken under licences granted in 1986; what are the eligibity criteria for the granting of licences to take birds out of the wild; and if he has any proposals to restrict or phase out the system of granting licences for taking birds out of the wild.

Mr. Moynihan

The number of sparrow-hawks and peregrines taken in 1986 by area were:

Peregrines1 Dumfries and Galloway; 1 Cumbria.

Sparrow-hawks1 Strathclyde; 2 South Wales; 4 West Wales; 1 Cheshire; 2 Derbyshire; 4 Hampshire; 2 Lancashire; 2 Nottinghamshire; 2 North Yorkshire; 2 Oxfordshire; 1 Somerset; 2 South Yorkshire; 2 Staffordshire; 3 Surrey; 1 Tyne and Wear; 3 Warwickshire; 1 West Midlands; 4 West Yorkshire.

No licences were granted to take merlins from the wild in 1986. Applicants must be 18 years old or over. The Nature Conservancy Council advises on general areas from which birds may be taken, which avoid edges of each species ranges or where there is a lower than average density.

The Department also takes into account the views of the Hawk Board (which represents the interests of falconers and hawk keepers) and the Nature Conservancy Council has recommended that licences should not be granted for taking from the wild any diurnal birds of prey after next year, and the Government intend to accept that advice.

Mr. Ron Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his reply of 28 October,Official Report, column 275, what are the exceptional circum-stances in which the taking of wild peregrine falcons will be allowed to continue after 1988.

Mr. Moynihan

Applications will be considered on their merits after consultation with the Nature Conservancy Council. There may, for example, be an occasional need for gene replenishment, to avoid in-breeding problems.

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