§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government how many persons have been convicted of offences under Section 100 (1) of the Agriculture Act, 1947 (which relates to failure to fulfil a requirement to keep rabbits under control).]
§ 3.4 p.m.
THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD (EARL, ST. ALDWYN)
My Lords, a brief word of explanation about this matter may be helpful. Under Section 98 (1) of the Agriculture Act, 1947, notices may be served by county agricultural executive committees, to whom the Minister's powers for this purpose have been delegated, requiring specified steps to be taken for the destruction of rabbits and certain other pests. These notices are served only when the occupier of the land has been unwilling to take action voluntarily. In most cases the serving of the notice has had the desired result, but in a few instances it has been necessary for a committee to carry out the work in default and to recover the cost from the occupier. In no case. however, has the Minister considered that the circumstances warranted the institution of proceedings under Section 100 (1) of the Act.