§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for each of the last five years the number of cases of wildlife poisoning in Northern Ireland caused by the illegal use of pesticides or poisons; and if he will identify the species involved and if possible the poison or pesticide involved.
§ Mr. Needham
The Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland is not aware of any cases of wildlife poisoning where the illegal use of pesticides or poisons has been proven.
However, in 1986 the death of one peregrine falcon was probably caused by high levels of the pesticides DDT and DDE. In 1986 another peregrine falcon and a sparrowhawk died, possibly through ingesting pesticides, and in 1987 a further sparrowhawk died from what may have been the same cause. In these cases it is not possible to state how or where the birds ingested these substances.
Neither DDT nor DDE were illegal prior to 1 January 1988 when the Control of Pesticides Regulations (NI) 1987 came into operation.
A case earlier this year of about 100 feral pigeons dying through ingesting alpha-chloralose (a stupefying bait) is being investigated. The deliberate use of alpha-chloralose against wild birds is illegal except under licence.