EU ban on wild bird imports won't stop bird flu
The European Commission said that it was lifting its
ban on live poultry imports, but would keep the ban in place for all birds
caught in the wild, such as falcons or parakeets.
According to the United Nations
, the EC
maintain a ban on wild bird imports will not help prevent the spread of bird
flu. The UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora
(CITES) called the move "disappointing", doubting that the
step would have any impact in preventing the spread of infectious diseases such
as bird flu. A recent analysis by the conservation alliance Birdlife International
showed that just 0.05% of the world's
bird species appear to be significantly threatened by international
CITES said the international wild bird trade is already subject to
stringent controls, and has declined from an estimated 7.5 million birds a year
in 1975, when CITES was formed, to around 1.5 million today. In contrast, the
global trade in live domestic poultry involves some 750 million birds a year and
the EU's move could provide a spur to the black market and unregulated trade.
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