Gin Trap

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th July 1965.

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Photo of Mr Michael Hutchison Mr Michael Hutchison , Edinburgh South 12:00 am, 14th July 1965

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to abolish the gin trap in Scotland.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

The use of the gin trap is permissible in Scotland for the capture of foxes and otters only. Arrangements have been made, in consultation with the National Farmers' Union, the Scottish Landowners Federation and the organisations concerned with salmon fisheries, for a survey over the next year of the extent to which the gin trap and other methods respectively are used for dealing with these species.

Thereafter I shall consider further whether the present law should be changed.

Photo of Mr Michael Hutchison Mr Michael Hutchison , Edinburgh South

Does the Secretary of State realise that this is a very unsatisfactory and cruel device which is banned in England? Is not the law rather ridiculous, in that animals cannot distinguish; they cannot tell that it is confined to otters and foxes? Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me something about the experiments which I believe are going on with the contraceptive pill and gas as more humane methods?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

There is a later Question dealing with the latter point. The reason for the different legislative procedures of Scotland and England is, once again, the facts of geography. We have far more hills. We have far more wild hill sheeplands. We have had strong representations about the effect the banning of the gin trap would have. It would cause serious losses on these lands. We must balance these factors before we come to any conclusion.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

Can my right hon. Friend tell me how other little animals can know that the fox has exclusive use of the gin trap?

Photo of Sir John Gilmour Sir John Gilmour , Fife East

Has the right hon. Gentleman any information about the success of setting gin traps on island sites to achieve drowning after catching?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

I believe that there are experiments into this, but I have no detailed information at present.

Photo of Mr James Stodart Mr James Stodart , Edinburgh West

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any progress report about the contraceptive methods for foxes which I believe were at least under experiment before? Has he any information from Canada on this subject?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Not in answer to this Question.