§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the Customs and Excise seizure of a quantity of alerce timber in Oxfordshire in May.
§ Sir John Cope
I have been asked to reply.
Customs and Excise seized a quantity of alerce timber banned from international trade under CITES—Conference on International Trade in Endangered Species. Decisions on whether to institute legal proceedings are a matter for the commissioners of Customs and Excise and I understand that the commissioners, on the basis of the evidence before them, do not feel that they would be justified in instituting criminal proceedings in this case. The timber is now held in safe storage and Customs are examining disposal options.