World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Eu Bird Import Ban Must Include Smuggler Crackdown

Europe’s wild bird import ban must be backed by crackdown on smugglers

BirdLife International [1] today called on countries around the world to intensify efforts to stem the illegal trade in wild-caught birds, following recent detection of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in both legally imported and smuggled birds.

BirdLife considers a total ban on currently legal wild bird imports to be essential to reduce the risk of H5N1 entering Europe via infected birds, but warns measures must be taken to counter the inevitable rise in smuggling that will follow such a ban[2].

“Any move to restrict legal bird imports must be combined with controls on illegal trade worldwide,” said BirdLife International’s Director of Policy, Dr Leon Bennun

As the H5N1 avian influenza virus continues to spread, the European Commission is deciding whether to ban the import of wild-caught birds as a preventative measure. This is in response to an outbreak of H5N1 among birds imported into the UK. A South American parrot died in quarantine from H5N1 last week, apparently infected by birds imported from Taiwan that shared the same holding facility.

“With the advent of H5N1, the illegal bird trade has become not just a conservation issue[3]but a serious economic and public health concern,” said Alison Stattersfield, BirdLife International’s Head of Science. “Controls and inspections need to be tightened by both exporting and importing countries.”

The threat of H5N1 spread from illegal trade is real. In October 2004, H5N1 was identified in two crested hawk-eagles Spizaetus nipalensis smuggled from Thailand to Belgium. The birds were found by chance in a random check of a Thai man who had traveled from Bangkok via Austria.

In Taiwan last week, eight birds infected with H5N1 were found in a seized consignment of more than 1,000 smuggled from the southeast Chinese city of Fuzhou. “Taiwan has been officially free of bird ‘flu since 1993, so it’s possible that the infected birds which reached the UK had also been smuggled into Taiwan from the Chinese mainland,” said Dr Leon Bennun.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>