§ Mr. Morley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps are taken by his Department to ascertain whether greenfinches presented for export from the United Kingdom to(a) Malta and (b) the EU have not been taken illegally from the wild; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Clappison
[holding answer 27 January 1997]: My Department has no authority to check greenfinches presented for export. It is an offence to take greenfinches from the wild, and to possess or sell them, without a licence. If my Department receives information that such offences may have taken place or are likely to do so, full details are passed to the police, who decide what action to take.