ENDCAP welcomes today’s decision by the European Parliament in the endorsement of a compromise proposal for a Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. Further to the Commission’s proposal, the Parliament has ensured the inclusion of references to animal welfare, which includes consideration of non-lethal methods of control and impacts on non-target species.
Since the Commission’s proposal was released in early September, animal welfare NGOs have been working to prioritised prevention and animal welfare considerations.
Despite heated negotiations, in mid-March an agreement was finally reached that included the following key provisions:
- Animal welfare language on non-lethal methods, humane management and consideration of impacts on non-target species
- Removal of the proposed 50 species cap
- Removal of “feral animals” from the definition of “alien species” which could have inappropriately expanded the scope of the regulation to stray cat and dog controls
- Establishment of a Scientific Forum with independent experts to oversee listing, risk assessment analysis and derogation requests
- Inclusion of the polluter pays principle
Invasive alien species are recognised as the second biggest driver to biodiversity loss after habitat fragmentation and the introduction of invasive alien species into Europe is occurring at an unprecedented rate with pathways opened via international trade and travel. Most of the vertebrate invasive species in Europe have been brought here for commercial purposes, either for hunting, fur farming, zoos, the pet trade or angling.