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Thursday, 17 November 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) . - There are firms manufacturing rabbit traps in Australia to-day, and they can produce approximately 500,000 annually. Surely that is sufficient to supply the needs' of Australia. With reasonable care a steel trap will last a lifetime. I do not approve of school children being encouraged to trap rabbits. There is nothing which tends towards brutalizing children more, and parents who have their welfare at heart should prevent them from vising traps. Professional trappers will never be able to purchase these goods at the prices prevailing in pre-war times.

It was a considerable time before the war when they could be bought at 10s. per dozen. When I was a boy I paid about 12s. and sometimes 15s. a dozen for them. We are told that traps now cost 3s. each, but I hazard the opinion that when the Australian manufacturers get their works into full swing there will be a reduction in price. Traps are being made and purchased all the time, and there is ample opportunity to obtain all that are necessary for the destruction of vermin. Hence I am going to lend my vote to build up those firms in Australia that are engaged in the industry. A few years ago we could not obtain goods from abroad, and that experience may be repeated. I hope it will not, but we shall be better off if we can meet our own requirements rather than depend on manufacturers abroad. I see no reason to anticipate any scarcity of rabbit traps in Australia.

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