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Volume 929: debated on Thursday 7 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated level of the otter population in Scotland, Wales and England, respectively; and whether he will take action to stop otter hunting as a sport.

I understand that, while it is not possible at present to give a reliable figure for the level of otter populations, a survey in England, Scotland and Wales is planned for 1977–78 and this should enable an estimate to be made. A joint working group of the Nature Conservancy Council and the Society for the Promotion of Nature Conservaion is at presentt considering the need for conservation measures for the otter and expects to publish a report soon. I shall be prepared to consider taking such action as may be appropriate.