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Volume 931: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will now add otters to Schedule 1 to the Conservation of Wild Creatures and Wild Plants Act 1975.

I can make such an order only on the basis of a representation by the Nature Conservancy Council. Before making such a representation, the Council must be satisfied that the status of the otter as a British wild creature is being endangered by an action designated as an offence under the Act. I understand that the Council is currently considering as a matter of urgency a number of conservation measures put forward by its joint working group on otters, whose report is due to be published shortly.