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Export Of Animal Traps

Volume 387: debated on Tuesday 22 November 1977

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My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether gintraps and other forms of leg-holding traps are being exported from this country; and, if so, whether regard has been had to the fact that such traps are unlawful in this country.

My Lords, the exportation from the United Kingdom of gintraps and other forms of leg-holding traps is not prohibited, except to Southern Rhodesia. The answer to the second part of my noble friend's Question is, Yes, but I have asked that the matter be looked at again.

My Lords, is my noble friend aware that, had I not received an unsatisfactory reply from the Department, I would not have troubled the House with this Question this afternoon? Is he also aware that there is a matter of principle involved here? The principle which is advanced by the Department of Trade is that they do not require goods which are exported from this country to conform to our own regulations on such matters as health, safety and humanitarianism, and it is the last word which I think is the important one in this question of principle. Is my noble friend further aware that I had put down a Question asking about the export of mantraps, thumb-screws, racks, treadmills and other forms of torture, to try to find out what was the principle of the matter in regard to these exports? I hope that my noble friend will bear these matters in mind when further consideration is given to this subject.

Certainly, my Lords, I am aware, in the way that my noble friend has indicated, of the strong views that he holds on these matters and the cogent arguments that he puts forward. It is for that reason that I asked that the matter be looked at again, and I assure him that all these points will be considered.