HL Deb 24 May 2000 vol 613 c93WA
Lord Hardy of Wath

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether research is under way into the decline in the population of starlings and house sparrows; and, in view of this decline, whether they will provide protection for these species and cease to classify them as pests. [HL2550]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty)

The Government are planning to let a research contract to investigate the causes of the population declines of the starling and house sparrow in Great Britain. This contract will be put out to tender in the near future. Control of these species is not thought to be the reason for this decline, so it would be inappropriate to change their status prior to the completion of this research.