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Endangered Species

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she has taken to ensure that the UK's international policies protect endangered species. [121904]

The UK Government have pressed for action to help protect endangered species in a number of international fora. For example, at last November's Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Chile, I was able to persuade the delegates to list the basking shark on Appendix II. This will mean that the international trade in the fins and other parts of this vulnerable species will be more strictly regulated in future.Similar protection was also afforded to whale sharks, seahorses and big-leaf mahogany. The current high level of protection afforded to minke and bryde's whales was also maintained, despite efforts by Japan to downlist the species. Other successes included measures to conserve Asian big cats such as tigers and snow leopards and the development of strict measures for controlling any future trade in ivory stockpiles.