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Animals (Illegal Trade)

Volume 525: debated on Thursday 17 March 2011

19. What funding she has allocated over the period of the comprehensive spending review to reduce the level of illegal trade in animals and animal products. (47215)

DEFRA provides funding for the convention on international trade in endangered species. Total funding levels for the next four years have yet to be agreed. The National Wildlife Crime Unit will be funded for the next two years. DEFRA provides no funding to delivery agents, but continues to provide policy and risk advice to the UK Border Agency, which has enforcement responsibility for illegal imports of animal products.

What discussions has the Minister had with the Home Department about the impact of UK Border Agency cuts on intercepting products of animal origin at UK airports?

I met a representative of the UK Border Agency this week to discuss these matters. I also attended a meeting of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime, which has built up an enormous breadth of expertise. When I visited the animal reception centre at Heathrow, I understood very clearly how partnership working and working on a risk basis is effective in making sure Britain plays its part in cutting out this terrible trade.