The banning of the trade in wild birds was one of the ornithological highlights, for us at least, of Tony Blair's period of being Prime Minister. I have no idea whether it gets a mention in his book, I doubt it, but it was important to us.
The spread of bird flu (or avian influenza) was certainly an important factor in persuading EU countries that shipping cageloads of birds around the world might not be a great idea. A dead parrot is not just for Monty Python, it's also for advocacy.
This graph is courtesy of the World Parrot Trust (to whom many thanks) and appears to show a very dramatic reduction in trade in wild-sourced, CITES-listed species.
Opponents of the ban in trade argued that a ban would just drive the trade underground where it would be even nastier. We don't think that has happened to any great extent. The ban has worked and wild bird populations have benefitted as a result.
Great result makes me wonder why not done before.
"The banning of the trade in wild birds was one of the ornithological highlights, for us at least, of Tony Blair's period of being Prime Minister"
10 years effort - praise indeed - I wonder if TB knows
Unbelievably good result,makes me think why ever not done earlier.
That's really good news Mark. let's hope the graph continues to stay bumping along the bottom axis. In the overall scheme of things I do find it amazing how hard the conservation and environmental organistions have to work in order simply to achieve what is right and what is always long over due. This is just one example. The RSPB and other conservation organisations had been campaigning for years on banning the trade in wild birds. The recent Marine Conservation Act is another example and there are many many other examples in the UK and worldwide. Despite sound and often overriding scientific arguements being put forward, politicians for some reason, often seem to treat, with a deal of scepticism, the reasoning and campaigns advocated by conservation and environmental organisations. However in the end they are usually unable to avoid the sheer logic of the situation and are dragged screaming and shouting towards having to respond with legislation, which is often almost too late . Wouldn't it be niece if sometimes they actually "got ahead of the game" on conservation and environmental issues.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654