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Wild Birds

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the basis was for his Department's decision not to adopt a proposal to prohibit the import of wild birds during the passage of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill in 2005. (112692)

The temporary EU ban on the import of wild birds, imposed in October 2005 in light of the threat from avian influenza, is still in place with the latest extension until 31 March 2007. During the passage of the NERC Bill there were calls for the UK to permanently ban imports of wild birds. At that time the European Commission had been asked to consider whether there were grounds for extending the ban on a more permanent basis and we felt it would be premature for the UK to introduce any stricter measures pending the development of a wider EU position. We expect a decision from the Commission on this issue soon.