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Feral Mink

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th April 1995.

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Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan , Blaby 12:00 am, 24th April 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment his Department has undertaken of the effects of feral mink on indigenous wildlife. [18736]

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

The impact of feral mink on indigenous wildlife is very difficult to assess, as there are often a number of possible causes for any decrease in the indigenous wildlife population and these may be interrelated. The Living Water project of the Welsh Wildlife Trust was established in 1994 and funded by, among others, the Countryside Council for Wales. It will provide valuable survey data in due course on the status of the otter, water voles and feral mink.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan , Blaby

I thank my hon. Friend for that response and am delighted that there is a research project going on into the status of wild mink in Wales, as elsewhere. Does he recognise, however, that feral mink pose one of the greatest dangers to small mammals and bird life in Britain—in Wales havoc is created as the mink spread along river systems—and that the problem needs to be taken very seriously?

Photo of Mr Gwilym Jones Mr Gwilym Jones , Cardiff North

Certainly, the matter is being taken seriously; there is no underestimating of the problem. As well as the research which I have already mentioned, there are recommended procedures for cage trapping and humane disposal.