FVE supports the call for a permanent ban on the import of wild-caught birds due to the appalling welfare standards from capture to quarantine and the unacceptably high mortality rates recorded.
FVE also believes that the current disease controls and welfare standards for the import of all captive live birds into the EU from Third Countries are unacceptable. If the trade is to be permitted, these standards need to be improved for the health and welfare of the birds involved. The FVE would therefore propose an extension of the temporary ban (imposed due to the risk of avian influenza), beyond the 31st December 2006.
The current border controls across the EU are inadequate. Increased vigilance is needed at border controls to pick up illegally smuggled birds. There is a need to increase the number of border controls and Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) and to standardise the border control procedures across the EU to help ensure a consistent approach. More stringent border checks coupled with adequate salaries for border officials will also help to reduce incentives for corruption.
Traceability and identification are essential for disease control. All birds imported or involved in intra-community trade should be individually identified to allow each bird to be traced back to their point of origin. Identification should be done before export and should be permanent to facilitate certification and traceability.