Van Velzen demands permanent ban on imports of wild birds

24 October 2005

Van Velzen demands permanent ban on imports of wild birds

The SP believes that a temporary ban on the importing of wild birds, brought in to counter the danger of bird flu, is insufficient. Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen will this week seek support from the parliament's lower house (the 'Tweede Kamer') for a proposal that agriculture minister Cees Veerman bring the issue of a permanent ban before the Council of Ministers in Brussels. “Imports increase the risk of diseases such as bird flu spreading and are disastrous for biodiversity. America, Australia and Canada have already introduced a permanent ban and Europe should follow their example.”

Krista van VelzenThe SP has long fought for such a ban, but Mr Veerman has to date always argued that existing regulations are enough to prevent the spread of disease. "I don't understand why we are again talking about a temporary ban,” said Ms Van Velzen. “Europe is responsible for ninety percent of world trade in wild birds, an unregulated trade which increases the spread of disease. Not only that, but fully half of these creatures die in transit, biodiversity is reduced, and exactly the same birds are available from sources which breed them in captivity. I can see no reason whatsoever why this cruel and environmentally disastrous trade should be allowed to continue.”

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