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March 2, 2017

European Parliament adopts robust report on trade policy and wildlife protection

Humane Society International

  • Christophe Cerisier/iStockphoto

The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favour of a robust report concerning EU Common Commercial Policy in the context of wildlife sustainability imperatives. This non-legislative report – initiated by the Parliament’s Committee on International Trade - focuses on achieving policy coherence between EU trade policy and environment policy, specifically in relation to the urgent need to effectively tackle and eliminate the problem of wildlife trafficking.

Humane Society International/Europe’s executive director, Joanna Swabe, issued the following statement after the vote:

“By adopting this report, the European Parliament has ensured that combating the illegal wildlife trade remains a priority for policymakers throughout the EU. This report is important in helping maintain the political momentum that followed the adoption of an EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. One of the key accents of the report is on the need for the EU to show greater ambition with regard to wildlife trade in its current and future trade negotiations with other countries and regions. This strongly reflects Humane Society International/Europe’s position that trade policy is a vitally important instrument that can be wielded in the fight against wildlife trafficking. The inclusion of provisions relating to wildlife protection in sustainable development chapters is not only a good means of securing concrete commitments for species protection, but also to help to build capacity in other countries to achieve the greater protection of wild animals.”

The report highlights a number of crucial issues, such as:

  • The need to tackle corruption and increase information exchange
  • The necessity of effectively addressing the increasing threat posed to wildlife by illegal trade online
  • The need for the uniform application of EU legislation by customs authorities in all EU Member States
  • Recognises the key role that both NGOs and the private sector, including the transport industry, can play in assisting national governments to protect their wildlife
  • Echoes previous Parliamentary calls for the EU to close a current legislative gap by developing supplementary legislation (akin to the US Lacey Act) to prohibit the trade in wildlife that has been taken in violation of national legislation elsewhere in the world

Support the efforts of HSI to prevent wildlife cruelty and save lives.

Media contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras (US), +1 301-721-6440, rcontreras@humanesociety.org

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