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Consultation on the Endangered Species Bill 21 November 2008

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is announcing a consultation on the Endangered Species Bill. The Department has been reviewing the legislation controlling the import, export and sale of endangered species of wild fauna and flora. Anyone wishing to submit their views on the proposed Bill and secondary legislation is invited to do so by 30 December 2008. The consultation papers are available from the Department’s website.

This Bill is proposed because the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1981 is in need of revision, to bring it up to date with the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), which is binding in the Isle of Man. The Department has decided to introduce new legislation rather than make numerous amendments.

The Convention was set up to ensure that international trade in specimens of particular species does not threaten their survival in the wild. Because this is a cross-border trade, international cooperation is necessary to safeguard such species from over-exploitation. It covers species that are directly threatened by trade, and those that may become threatened, for which the level of trade warrants regulation and close scrutiny.

Minister for Wildlife and Conservation, Phil Gawne MHK, said: ‘The Isle of Man takes this international responsibility seriously. By updating these provisions we are playing our part in the international community, to safeguard endangered species both here at home and abroad.’

The Act regulates trade in specimens of endangered species of animals and plants (live or dead), or parts or derivatives of them, moving on or off the Isle of Man, including to or from the United Kingdom.

To provide an idea of the kinds of specimens that are controlled, the following may be of local interest: certain species of parrots; tiger skins; elephant ivory; timber from neotropical big-leaf mahogany; Hoodia extract and tortoises. There are also Manx species which are restricted, including: falcons, harriers and owls; orchids; basking sharks; whales and dolphins, and soon to be added, the European eel.

Notes

1. The consultation documents can be viewed on the consultation page of the Department’s website http://www.gov.im/daff/Consultations/species_bill.xml including a summary of the changes proposed.

2. A summary of responses will be posted on the Department’s website within 4 weeks of the close of the consultation period and it will also be available from the Tynwald Library and the Department’s head office.

3. Further information on the Convention can be found on the website http://www.cites.org.

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