Schedule 3 - Hunting with dogs: prohibition

Part of Hunting Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 25th January 2001.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mrs Llin Golding Mrs Llin Golding Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme 10:45 am, 25th January 2001

I agree with many of the hon. Gentleman's comments. The banning of mink hunts is unconnected to conservation. In fact, it encourages mink to reproduce and destroy many indigenous species.

On the fishing question, there is no way in which to trap mink in an estuary because its tidal waters will drown them. We have had many floods this year, so if traps had been set, they would have drowned mink caught in them. Furthermore, traps have to be checked once every 24 hours to ensure that they are freshly baited. In flood conditions, mink will not go near traps, which are impossible to examine when they are underwater. Those problems affect estuaries all year round, and rivers when they flood.

Traps are expensive to manage and control because they must be supplied with live bait. A person—I almost said a man—must inspect them every 24 hours and, the last time that I asked, they cost about £25, although they are probably more expensive now. That is what must be done to control mink, but few riparian owners are prepared to do it.