asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the Government have now considered the report by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, "Silent Death", concerning the destruction of birds and mammals through the deliberate misuse of poisons; and if he will make a statement.
Yes. My right hon. Friend and I are most grateful to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for its initiative here, and for all the resources, time and effort put into the compilation of this report. It has been widely circulated and studied within Government Departments and other public sector bodies concerned with safeguarding wildlife against deliberate misuse of poisons. It has also been of much help in arousing necessary public awareness of this problem; and that in itself is a valuable first step towards stamping out these despicable practices.In several instances the RSPB's objectives or proposals were reflected both in recent debates on the Wildlife and Countryside Bill; and in the legislation as now enacted. Elsewhere Departments concerned have taken, or will be taking, action in sympathy with themes in the report. I have today sent the RSPB a considered response to each of its itemised recommendations; and I am arranging for a copy of its report, and the Government's detailed response, to be placed in the Library of the House.