Finches (Import)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th January 1967.

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Photo of Mr Raymond Dobson Mr Raymond Dobson , Bristol North East 12:00 am, 26th January 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider restricting the importation of finches into this country.

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

No, Sir. I do not know of any sufficient reasons for such a restriction.

Photo of Mr Raymond Dobson Mr Raymond Dobson , Bristol North East

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, although a large number of these birds are imported into this country, the mortality rate among them is very high indeed? Is there not a paradox in this situation; that whereas, under the Protection of Birds Act, 1954, such birds as greenfinches and goldfinches cannot be sold alive unless close ringed or bred in captivity, nothing is being done about imported birds?

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

My hon. Friend appears to be an expert on this subject. I am aware of the keen interest he takes in it. As he knows, finches have been imported into this country for many years. The number of finches imported is believed to account for more than half the total number of birds imported. I am aware of what has happened in respect of some of the birds but as my hon. Friend knows, the question of the safety of birds carried by air is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.