Agriculture (Rats and Mice).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 17th April 1940.

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Photo of Colonel Ralph Glyn Colonel Ralph Glyn , Abingdon

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will consider rescuscitating the research unit dealing with rat and mouse control that was found effective during and after the last war, but which was abolished subsequently at the suggestion of the Geddes Economy Committee; in the meantime, what proposals he has put forward to enforce the Rats and Mice Act of 1914; and whether he will consider dealing with the loop-holes in the Statute by special regulations?

Photo of Captain John McEwen Captain John McEwen , Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire

I have been asked to reply. The need for the research unit referred to in the first part of the Question would not appear to arise in view of the investigations on rodent control which are being carried out under the auspices of the Agricultural Research Council, and with the aid of grants from the Development Fund, by the Bureau of Animal Population, Oxford University. The results of these investigations are available to the Ministry of Agriculture and full advantage will be taken of them in securing publicity as to methods of destruction of rats and mice.

As regards the second and third parts of the Question, the execution and enforcement of the Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919, are vested in certain local authorities, and while some of these are fully alive to the necessity of a strict enforcement of the provisions of the Act, the question of an intensive national campaign during the present emergency, to secure, under special powers, the destruction of rats and mice is under consideration by the Ministry in consultation with other Government Departments concerned.