midiamimesEC survey says 8 out of 10 want restriction on exotic species in trade

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New report, published on 3rd October at the European Parliament aims to set the future EC agenda
Results of a European Commission survey* on invasive alien species (IAS) have been welcomed by ENDCAP, the European coalition that is campaigning against the trade in and keeping of wild animals as pets in Europe. Of over 5,000 respondents to the survey (which ended in April 2012), more than 80% indicated they wanted restrictions on the sale of exotic species of animals and plants. The online public consultation was carried out to inform the forthcoming EU Invasive Alien Species Strategy.
Despite a particularly high response to the survey from vested interest hobbyists as well as traders who oppose restrictions, these results show there is strong support for restrictions among the wider community. Earlier this year ENDCAP members, the Animal Protection Agency (UK), Animal Public (Germany) and FAADA (Spain) published an independently researched report showing that a wide range of species traded as exotic pets through markets have the potential to become invasive across numerous regions of the European Union. Following their popularity in the pet trade, ring-necked parakeets are now well established in many Member States, as are raccoons, and red-eared terrapins. IAS, which are damaging native environments and can spread disease and parasites to other animals, are considered to be a major contributory factor to global biodiversity loss. The European Commission** estimates that the damage caused may cost around 12.5 billion euros per year. Evidence confirms that the pet trade is an important pathway for IAS and controls are required.
In acknowledgement of the increased appetite of the European Parliament and EU Member States to restrict the movement of live, wild animals and their keeping in private households, ENDCAP has produced a report, “Wild Pets in the European Union”, which is to be published next Wednesday at the European Parliament. Conclusions from this event will then filter into the broader discussions in a conference on exotic pets, in Brussels, hosted by the Cyprus Presidency and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) on 4th and 5th October.
Says Daniel Turner, spokesperson for ENDCAP:
The global exotic pet trade has already caused untold damage to natural ecosystems around the world and we are only just beginning to appreciate its full implications. Future generations will wonder why action was not taken sooner given the huge diversity of animal species in trade. But we hope and expect that stringently enforced restrictions will be implemented soon.” Turner continues, “ENDCAP’s report consolidates the latest information and compares actions by Member States. What is clear is that the Commission and Member State governments must act to curb the largely unregulated pet trade and address the problems of IAS before important habitats and native species are lost forever.
The European Commission anticipates that its proposal for a new legislative framework for Invasive Alien Species will be published before the end of 2012.
The seminar in the European Parliament will take place on 3rd October 2012 where copies of the report “Wild Pets in the European Union” will be available.
For more information about the report launch and attending the event please contact:
Daniel Turner, ENDCAP Coordinator -
+44 7920195594 or daniel@bornfree.org.uk
Notes to Editors
*The IAS consultation results can be found here:  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/invasivealien/docs/results_consultation.pdf
**European Commission (2011) Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020  http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/comm2006/pdf/2020/1_EN_ACT_part1_v7[1].pdf Communication from the commission to the European parliament, the council, the economic and social committee and the committee of the regions.
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Author: ENDCAP