asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the guidelines used by his staff in considering applications for the issue of licences under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
In considering applications for licences issued for the prevention of serious damage to fisheries in river systems account is taken not only of the advice received from the Nature Conservancy Council but also the information given by applicants as regards the kind and extent of damage occurring or thought likely to occur, the history of licences issued in previous years and whether there are reasonable and practical alternatives to the issue of a licence.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the general advice given by the Nature Conservancy Council that his Department abides by when considering applications for licences under section 16 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The advice received from the council relates normally to individual species of birds and animals, and is generally to the effect that shooting should be limited to the minimum level necessary to achieve the purposes for which the various licences under section 16 of the Act may be granted.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which sites were visited before licences were issued to kill cormorants in 1983, 1984 and so far in the current year, respectively.
No sites were visited. As I indicated in my reply of 4 April at column 735 it is felt impracticable to visit stretches of river systems for which the local fishery interests have applied for licences.