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Volume 940: debated on Thursday 1 December 1977

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to ban the use of snares.

My right hon. Friend the Minister has no powers to do so; but in its advisory work on control of pests, my Department is at all times concerned to prevent avoidable suffering caused by snares, or unintended risks to other creatures.

Parliament would have to give the Government such powers, but I can assure the hon. Lady that we recognise that this is a form of pest control which should be used only in very exceptional circumstances. The problem is that in some cases there are no satisfactory alternatives.