On 27 – 29 February 2020, the IMPEL Nature Protection Expert Team conducted its meeting, organised several workshops and joined an inspection site visit, organised by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, at the Zwolle bird market in The Netherlands. The meeting itself was held in the Provincial House of Flevoland in Lelystad.
Among others, the participants discussed the EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking progress. Each attending Member State provided a description on how the trade in captive bred is implemented in their national law. Special focus was on captive bred birds and the national regulation and usage of foot rings. One of the main workshops dealt with the issues around closed foot rings on birds. The illegal trading in birds was being addressed as well.
There were several external speakers, representing the Bird Market, Birdlife, WWF/Traffic, Province of Flevoland and NVWA (= Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority). The latter also delivered a good explanation and demonstration of how an inspection at an animal market such as the bird market is conducted, for instance by making use of professional drones. While the IMPEL group visited the market, several birds had been seized already due to irregularities detected by the inspectors on the scene.
The next Nature Protection workshops will be organised in Lisbon, Portugal, dealing with good practices in the implementation of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking. Expected outputs are a Guidance Book, taking into account the results coming from real joint inspections, IMPEL member examples, inspection tools, with minimum extent and resources for inspectors, and the results of a technical workshop. The expected outcome is a reduction of implementation gaps and a level playing field within Member States. Another workshop, organised back to back with the first one, will deal with the issue of Tackling Illegal Activities Connected to Hunting Tourism.
The Nature Protection Workshop Group 28 February 2020, Lelystad, The Netherlands, with NP chair and host John Visbeen third from the left.