§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to ensure that all mink farms in Wales comply with the terms of the Mink Keeping Order 1987; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
[holding answer 30 March 1988]: The Mink (Keeping) Order 1987, prohibits the keeping of mink on certain offshore islands of Great Britain and in certain areas of Scotland and prohibits the keeping of mink in the rest of Great Britain except under licence. Any new premises to he used as a mink farm are inspected after an application for a licence is received or if it becomes known that mink are being kept in captivity. In considering an application for a licence my officials would wish to be satisfied that the mink are to be kept in the manner prescribed in the Mink (Keeping) Regulations, 1975, as amended. Any other relevant factors would also be taken into account including the likely impact on farming and wildlife if mink were to escape from captivity. Licences are valid for a period of up to 12 months. There are powers of revocation.