§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the efforts of the Coypu Control Organisation and the Ministry's coypu research laboratory to eradicate the coypu.
§ Mr. MacGregor
I am pleased to report that my experts have declared the trapping programme caried out by the Coypu control Organisation a success. As a result, the campaign has been wound up, as from today. We had provided for trapping to continue until 1991 if necessary. That we have been able to bring the date forward is in no small way due to the dedicated efforts of the Coypu Control Organisation's team of trappers.
While a population of over 10,000 coypu has been eradicated no one can claim with certainty that the wild coypu is now extinct in Britain. Isolated animals may be at large and continued vigilance is needed. The public have already played a valuable part in the campaign, and any further sightings should be reported to the Ministry so that investigations can be put in hand at once.