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Volume 79: debated on Friday 17 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to ensure that section 16(1)(k) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, relating to the issuing of licences for the killing of cormorants, is applied uniformly both in Scotland and in England and Wales.

All licensing authorities comply with general guidelines agreed by the Nature Conservancy Council. However, the problems caused by cormorants differ between Scotland and England and Wales. In England and Wales, the problems arise at fish farms and reservoirs, where deterrents to move the birds can be effective. In Scotland the problems affect extensive open water fishery systems where such deterrents are not effective. It is impracticable to adopt a completely uniform approach.