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Birds: Trade

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the EU ban on wild bird imports on the illegal wildlife trade in birds in the UK; what research his Department has conducted on the matter; and if he will make a statement. (197007)

[holding answer 31 March 2008]: In December 2006, DEFRA let a contract to assess the impact of the restrictions brought in by Commission Regulation 318/2007 in March 2007. The contractors were asked to assess the impact of the current import ban on wild birds on illegal trade levels, as well as the related risk of the introduction of exotic diseases to native and domestic bird populations. Completion of the report was delayed to enable the contractors more time to obtain and assess data. The contractors draft report has however now been submitted to DEFRA, and it is being considered to ensure its accuracy and that the contract terms have been met. It is anticipated that the report will be finalised and published either in April or May. In addition, Government continue to support the national wildlife crime unit which acts as a monitor on the illegal trade in such species in the UK.