§ Mr. Martlew
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans there are to reintroduce the great bustard in England; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
On the 31 October, I approved a 10-year trial reintroduction of the Great Bustard onto Salisbury Plain. This species has been extinct from England since 1832.
The Licence permits the Great Bustard Consortium, a conservation group, to release up to 40 chicks per year onto Salisbury Plain. The first releases are not likely to be before September 2004. A further licence under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will be required to permit the import of the chicks from Russia.
The Department will review the trial on an annual basis in consultation with, among others, English Nature, the Joint Nature Conservancy Committee and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. It will be terminated in the event of evidence of harm to the donor population in Russia, or to native biodiversity.