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Farm Wages

Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on how many of the 2,900 holdings visited by agricultural wages inspectors in 1986 cases were discovered of the underpayment of wages; and what this represents as a percentage of the holdings inspected.

[holding answer 4 December 1987]: Agricultural wages inspectors visit holdings either on routine test inspections or in response to complaints, the latter revealing a much higher proportion of underpayments than the former. The detailed figures for England in 1986 were as follows:respectively, there are at present in each region of the United Kingdom, and how many of each species are so kept.

[holding answer 4 December 1987]: There are no mink farms in Wales. For other parts of the United Kingdom the position was Scotland seven, Northern Ireland one as at 1 December. By MAFF region the position in England was:

NumberAs at
Northern1524 November 1987
Midlands and West1624 November 1987
Eastern73 December 1987
South Eastern631 March 1987
South Western73 December 1987
Details of the numbers of mink held on these farms are not available, but it seems likely that the total number is of the order of 100,000. There are no coypu farms in the United Kingdom.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any estimates of the number of mink and coypu presently in the wild in the United Kingdom.

[holding answer 4 December 1987]: Mink are now very numerous in the wild and are spread over most parts of mainland Britain; they are also well established in Northern Ireland. However, my Department has no reliable scientific data on the numbers involved.Coypus in the wild have been confined to East Anglia where an eradication campaign has been under way since 1981. None have been found since April 1987, but eradication cannot be confirmed until 1989 at the earliest.