asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many new-born seals are to be slaughtered this year in Orkney; and what precautions are being taken to see that the slaughter is controlled.
A cull of 750 seal pups will take place this month under the same controls as operated last year. Permits will be issued to seal hunters and the number of seals each is entitled to kill and the area and period within which this may be done will be specified. Permit holders will be obliged to send their seal skins through a central point in Orkney where they will be checked.
I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that Answer, but may I ask him to bear in mind that last year the cull was considerably exceeded, and may we hope that that will not occur again?
Yes, indeed, we will bear that matter in mind.