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Animal Welfare: Wild Birds

Volume 687: debated on Tuesday 5 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 7 November (WA 157-8), who will carry out research on conservation, illegal trade and local livelihood; to whom the research tender will be open; whether they will accept evidence from Bird Life International; when the research will be complete; and what will be the exact research agenda. [HL341]

A research project has been tendered to assess whether the current ban has resulted in increased seizures of illegal imports, to identify how the ban has impacted on the livelihood of those in the source countries and how this may result in negative conservation. The tender process was carried out on a restricted basis, recognising the relevant knowledge and expertise required to carry out the study. Those invited to tender were as follows:

Institute of Zoology;

Overseas Development Institute;

Zoological Society of London;

World Conservation Monitoring Centre; and

TRAFFIC International.

Officials are considering the tenders received, with a view to letting the contract shortly. Once the contract is let, the research will take eight months. I see no reason to exclude relevant evidence from Bird Life International in the study. However, it will be for the successful candidate to decide, in conjunction with Defra, how such evidence is considered.