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Animal Welfare: Wild Birds

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 26 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 14 March (WA 122) on a European Union ban on the commercial importation of wild birds, whether an exemption would apply under (a) GATT Article XX as a measure necessary to protect public morals, and (b) under Article XX as a measure necessary to protect animal life or health, thus meeting the requirements for non-discrimination because the trade is not allowed within the European Union. [HL3287]

The European Union (EU) has imposed an indefinite ban on the importation of wild-caught birds for animal health reasons. Therefore, the ban has been imposed as an exemption under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Article XX as a measure necessary to protect animal life or health. The exemption under the GATT Article XX as a measure necessary to protect public morals could not be applied because trade in captive-bred birds is allowed within the EU.