§ Mr. Norris
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to ensure that international trade in wildlife does not threaten the survival of species.
§ Mr. Baldry
This Government have always been active in ensuring that trade in wildlife is controlled so that it does not threaten the survival of any species. Because of 553W growing concern about the effects of trade on some wildlife populations, we have asked our scientific advisers—the royal botanic gardens at Kew and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee—to undertake a wide-ranging study. They will review the evidence as to whether the trade in wild-taken plants and animals is compatible with maintaining species at satisfactory levels. Following this review, they will make recommendations to be taken into account when considering proposals to change current controls under the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora—CITES.
The United Kingdom was one of the founder members of CITES, which is based on the principle that wildlife should be used only at levels which can be sustained. We have always been in the forefront of promoting and supporting necessary changes to the convention and complementary measures in this country and the European Community. The study—which is to be completed by the end of July—will make a significant contribution to the conservation of wildlife by ensuring that Government action continues to be based on a sound scientific foundation.