§ Mr. Nelson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what estimate he has made of the growth in numbers of wild mink in the United Kingdom in the last year; and what further action he will take to support water authorities in controlling this pest.
§ Mr. Strang
This non-indigenous species is now found extensively in Britain, mainly alongside rivers, but no realistic population estimates are available. The Agriculture Departments are at all times willing to assist water authorities, and others concerned, by providing advice on control techniques and by lending suitable traps. Strict precautions are also enforced to prevent mink escaping from licensed establishments. To go further than this would be inconsistent 525W with the general principle of occupier responsibility for pest control, and my right hon. Friends do not have any additional measures in mind.