MEPs support recognition of animal welfare in Invasive Alien Species regulation

#Act4
Wildlife

MEPs support recognition of animal welfare in Invasive Alien Species regulation

16 April 2014
News
Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the European Parliament’s endorsement of a compromise proposal for a Regulation on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species voted on at Plenary today.

Improvements to the Commission’s proposal included additional references to animal welfare such as consideration of non-lethal methods and impacts on non-target species. Since the Commission’s proposal was released in early September, Eurogroup has worked closely with Humane Society International, the European Environmental Bureau and BirdLife Europe to ensure the text negotiated between Parliament, Council and the Commission prioritised prevention and animal welfare considerations.  Despite a rollercoaster ride of negotiations, in mid-March an agreement was finally reached that included some key provisions called for by our coalitions:

  • Animal welfare language on non-lethal methods, humane management and consideration of impacts on non-target species
  • Removal of the 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.

“Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the adoption of this regulation and hopes it will lead to a reduction in the import, sale, breeding and keeping of unsuitable exotic pets that could pose an invasive risk to Europe” commented Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals.

“While Eurogroup for Animals regrets that exceptions for the permitted use of commercially interesting Invasive Alien Species were included in the compromise text, we are pleased that such provisions were significantly tightened with the requirement for Commission authorisation, humane marking/identification of such animals, reporting and the application of liability in the event of escapes,” she concluded.

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the adoption of this regulation and hopes it will lead to a reduction in the import, sale, breeding and keeping of unsuitable exotic pets that could pose an invasive risk to Europe.
Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals