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T3327

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what trials her Department is undertaking with the wild animal poison known as T3327 on property in the Government's ownership in Scotland; what the ingredients of the poison are; for how long such trials have been running; how many non-target animals, including protected and domestic animals, have been poisoned during the study; and how many foxes have been poisoned. [108139]

Defra funds an on-going programme of research into methods of combating outbreaks of rabies in wildlife. The Animal Health Act (1981) permits the use, in a rabies outbreak, of poisonous baits to control foxes and other wild vectors of rabies. T3327 is a carbamate compound akin to a number of approved agricultural pesticides. It was developed with a view to finding a more biodegradable, humane and effective poison for use, if absolutely necessary, in a rabies emergency. In September 2002 poison baits were laid for three days during a strictly controlled five-week trial in a 14km2 area in the MoD's Dundrennan Ranges in Scotland. Further field trials of T3327 are not planned. Exact numbers of animals killed during the trial are not known, as some will have died underground but six foxes and 11 badgers were found dead. There was no evidence that other species, wild or domestic, had been poisoned.