§ 2. Mr. Kimball
asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science how many red deer stags were shot on the Island of Rhum in September and October of this year; what was their average weight, weighed without heart and liver; and how many hinds it is intended to shoot this winter.
§ Mr. Denzil Freeth
The answer to the first part of the Question is forty-eight stags. All those shot during the season and brought to the larder were weighed less gralloch, but including heart, liver and lights. The average weight was 11 st. 11 lb. The answer to the last part of the question is 136.
§ Mr. Kimball
Does my hon. Friend realise that such a low average weight as this must indicate that the island is grossly overstocked with red deer? When the Red Deer Commission, under the auspices and with the advice of the Nature Conservancy, has an absolute obsession about the over-stocking of other people's grounds, should not an effort be made by the Commission to put its own house in order first?
§ Mr. Freeth
I do not think that my hon. Friend has yet fully appreciated that sporting estates are managed on entirely different principles, and that their figures are not comparable. In fact, fully-grown Rhum stags are as heavy as 21 st., but the heaviest shot this year was 19 st. 6 lb. It is necessary to undertake culling upon a scientific basis, and this naturally means that stags are shot which would not be shot on a sporting estate.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
On a point of order. In future, do we put Questions about deer in Scotland to the Parliamentary Secretary for Science?