HC Deb 10 December 2003 vol 415 cc488-9W
Mr. Bellingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate her Department has made of the(a) number of small businesses which are dependent on hunting for their survival and (b) number of jobs that would be lost in the event of a ban on hunting with hounds. [142830]

Alun Michael

I have been asked to reply.

There are many businesses providing goods and services for the whole range of rural activities. No reliable estimate is possible of how many such businesses are so dependent on hunting that they would fail if hunting is regulated or banned. The Burns Report (paragraph 3.8) said Hunting, as an economic activity, is so small as to be almost invisible in terms of national aggregates.

The Burns Report, paragraph 3.37, Table 3.5, estimated employment dependent on hunting as the following full-time equivalents:

Direct employment by the hunts 710
Direct employment by the followers 1,497
Indirect employment 1,992
Individual employment 1,525
Total 5,724

Evidence subsequently presented to the public hearings held in Portcullis House suggested that Burns' estimates were too high and that the number of jobs associated with hunting was much smaller.