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Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has any scientific evidence that the bird species subject to the proposed alteration to the Wildlife and Countryside Act cause damage to growing crops, game birds or livestock feedingstuffs.

This Department's central science laboratories have researched damage to agricultural crops caused by starlings, wood pigeons and Brent geese. This damage is significant: starlings can take 12 per cent. of barley for cattle and 20 per cent. of the cherry crop, wood pigeons eat oil seed rape worth £2 million, and Brent geese reduce yield of winter wheat locally by up to 10 per cent.