HUMANE TRAPPING STANDARDS (12200/04)
Letter from Jim Knight MP, Minister for
Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity, Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman
I am writing to update you with developments
on the proposal for a Directive introducing humane trapping standards
for certain species, to which the above Explanatory Memorandum
The European Parliament Environment Committee
on 21 June 2005 gave strong support for rejecting the proposal.
The proposal has also been debated on two occasions by the Environment
Public Health and Food Safety Committee. The rapporteur proposed
to both reject the proposal and also make substantial amendments
to the Directive.
The proposal for a Directive was first debated
by the European Parliament on 16 November 2005. The European Parliament
then voted in plenary on 17 November 2005 to reject the text of
the above proposal for a Directive, but did not proceed to vote
on the draft legislative resolution. The proposal was instead
referred back to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health
and Food Safety. At its meeting on 28-29 November 2005, the Committee
on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety held a brief
exchange of views and decided to recommend to the plenary to confirm
the rejection of the Commission's proposal.
Without further debate in plenary, the European
Parliament voted on 13 December 2005 to adopt the draft legislative
resolution and thereby close the legislative procedure.
The European Commission are considering the
next steps on this issue and I will write to you again when their
intentions become clear.
15 February 2006
Letter from the Chairman to Jim Knight
Thank you for your letter of 15 February, which
Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) considered at its
meeting on 15 March.
The Committee notes that the European Parliament
rejected this proposal. We would be grateful for an explanation
as to why, in the Government's view, the European Parliament took
this action. We would also very much appreciate you keeping us
informed of the Commission's next steps on this dossier. In the
meantime, the Committee decided to retain the proposal under scrutiny.
17 March 2006
Letter from Jim Knight MP to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 17 March regarding
the European Parliament's decision to reject the European Commission's
draft Directive. It may be helpful if I firstly update you with
progress on this issue. The European Commission has issued a tender
for a two-year euro500k project to identify the state of art research,
science and application of trapping standards and methods which
reduce pain, distress and suffering as much as technically feasible
in order to improve the welfare of trapped animals. (OJEC Ref:
The project will in particular, identify and
use testing methods which reduce as much as technically possible
the use of live animals for the testing of trapping methods. Accordingly,
the work will focus on improving the protection of the welfare
of trapped animals as much as technically feasible and to further
foster the development of alternative testing methods to reduce
the use of live animals for the testing of trapping methods.
You requested an explanation as to why, in the
Government's view, the draft Directive was rejected. There were
a number of areas of concern with the draft Directive which the
European Parliament debated before making their decision. There
were, for example, concerns that the proposal could contradict
other Community legislation, such as the Habitats Directive, and
that it was not based on the latest scientific research or did
not take into account alternative killing methods. There were
also concerns that the Directive would not actually prevent or
even reduce animal suffering.
I note the Select Committee's decision to retain
the proposal under scrutiny. I will of course keep the Committee
updated should there be any further developments. However in light
of the European Commission's two-year project, mentioned above,
I do not anticipate major developments until that project is concluded.
14 April 2006