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(a) why the guidance leaflets issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to members of the public wishing to import exotic birds from third countries not classified under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreements make no reference to the requirement to place sentinel birds in exotic bird transport; and, (b) whether they plan to place exotic birds not covered by the CITES import requirements under those requirements in the interests of animal welfare, [HL3548]
Lord Whitty: (a) Defra's guidance leaflets make no reference to a requirement to place sentinel birds with exotic birds during transport as it is not an animal health requirement under EU or national law.
Exotic captive birds must be imported in line with the animal health requirements and the veterinary certification laid down in Commission Decision 2000/666/EC as well as current animal welfare rules.
(b) There are no plans to place exotic birds which are not covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) under such requirements in the interests of animal welfare. CITES is not a body which has control or authority in matters of animal welfare. The aim of CITES is to protect certain plants and animals by regulating and monitoring their international trade to prevent it reaching unsustainable levels.
Following the refusal by the Mercosur countries to consider animal welfare issues within the trade negotiations with the European Union, what steps they will take to ensure that consumers can identify those products containing eggs that do not conform to the standards required of European Union producers. [HL3566]
Lord Whitty: We have already made clear to the Commission our concerns regarding the inclusion of eggs and egg products on the list of goods from which tariffs will be removed in the EU's market access offer to Mercosur. The EU's offer, which has now been submitted, is an ambitious one, covering a wide range of products.
The WTO does not allow restrictions on imports purely on the basis of production or processing method. In the light of this, the EU has been pressing in the WTO for recognition of the right of member countries to choose for themselves the level of consumer information about production and processing methods that can be included with imported products. But this has met with little support from elsewhere. I have asked my officials to keep the British Egg Industry Council informed on developments.
12 Jul 2004 : Column WA134
What steps they are taking to ensure that their reforms of the Civil Service do not adversely affect the number and proportion of disabled people employed in the Civil Service or the targets promoting disability equality in the service. [HL3585]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Govenment remain committed to achieving a Civil Service which is representative of the society it serves, at all levels. Departments will be expected to consider the impact on diversity in the workforce in developing their plans for reform, to ensure that specific groups of staff are not disporportionately affected.
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