He has written to Graham Wynne, Chief Executive of the RSPB, to say that the government will press the rest of Europe to make permanent the current but temporary ban on wild bird imports.
The letter is a huge boost to the Society’s 20-year long campaign against the trade which has seriously reduced populations of many birds in Asia, Africa and South America.
Parrots are particularly seriously affected including the African grey parrot, the world’s best talking bird.
Graham Wynne, Chief Executive of the RSPB, said: “We are delighted that the UK is taking this position and Mr Blair’s intervention could not be more timely. It is shameful that such an obscene trade has been allowed to continue for so long, when so many birds have died and so few people have benefited.
“At last there is hope that this dark cloud hanging over millions of wild birds may soon be gone. The support of the Government could be crucial in bringing this about.”
The bird trade was banned in October 2005 after birds in quarantine in Essex were found to have bird flu. The ban runs until the end of this month when the EU’s chief veterinary officers, including the UK’s Dr Debby Reynolds, will decide whether it should continue.
In his letter, Mr Blair says “the RSPB’s campaign has graphically demonstrated that the catching and transportation of wild birds…causes unacceptable levels of suffering to the birds and can have a damaging impact on their wild populations.”
He adds that that he believes “there may be considerable support now from other member states and within the Commission for [a ban]...I hope that together we can end the unnecessary trade in wild birds.”
Graham Wynne said: “Mr Blair’s letter is brilliant news. We now hope to work closely with the Government to make sure we finally bring about this ban and look forward to the Government putting the case to its European partners.”
Cath Harris | alfa
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy