asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the last annual report sent to the European Commission by his Department, as required by directive 79/409 on the conservation of wild birds, on the implementation of the directive in the United Kingdom, reported the numbers of (a) herons, (b) cormorants, (c) goosanders, (d) red-breasted mergansers, (e) grey geese and (f) barnacle geese killed in Scotland under a licence granted to prevent serious damaged to crops and so on; and if, in each case, it was reported whether the licence had been granted after a site investigation by Nature Conservancy Council officials.
The last annual report on derogations under article 9 of EC directive 79/409 was submitted to the Commission last November and covered the calendar year 1983. It showed birds killed or taken under licence and the purpose for which each licence was granted. A copy of the report was placed in the Library.The report does not show whether the Nature Conservancy Council carried out a site investigation for any particular licence. Current practice is to carry out such investigations when licence applications are received relating to herons and to barnacle geese on certain farms on Islay.In other cases, monitoring is carried out on the basis of information made available to Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries staff in the course of their duties, including reports of action furnished by licensees.