Section 4 birds, Article 10 and the BOP hunting exception
Jean Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.
Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
Hunts are now claiming the BOP exemption by touting anything from a Golden Eagle to a Long Earred Owl! on a quad bike while a whole pack of hounds are sent into a wood after foxes.
My questions are:
Is this considered commercial use and if so would the handler have to have applied for an Article 10 licence.
Are there any rules / guidelines as to how these birds are transported while following the hunt given the rough terrain the quad bikes are driven over at speed with:
Bird in a mesh cage
Bird on handlebars
Bird on passengers wrist
These birds are sometimes out, with the hunt for 6 hours. Is their any legislation covering the birds welfare whether for commercial use or in general.
Finally, given it is almost impossible to know who the handler is does the handler have to carry and produce details of licences with them?
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Dear Jean Roberts,
Thank you for your email below which we received on 13 January 2019. I can
confirm that this will be passed to our policy team to respond under
general correspondence and will not be replied to under the FOIA or EIR
legislations. This is because your request does not ask for recorded
information as defined within the legislations and you will hopefully
receive a more informative response under general correspondence.
I will send your email below to the relevant Defra policy team today. So I
hope they will get back to you via our Defra Helpline as soon as possible.
Should you wish to contact them directly then please email:
Information Rights Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Email: Information [email address]
Address: Area 4a, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
Dear Ms Roberts,
Thank you for your email of 13 January about the use of birds during
hunting activities. I understand that you have been informed that your
email is being dealt with as normal correspondence rather than as a
Freedom of Information request.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
regulates the international trade in endangered animals and plants. CITES
is implemented in the UK through the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations and the
applicable species are listed in Annexes of Council Regulation (EC) No
In the EU, anyone using any animal or plant listed on Annex A for
commercial purposes should have obtained an Article 10 certificate for
that animal or plant. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is the UK
CITES management authority responsible for dealing with CITES
applications. The owner of the bird would not be required to have their
Article 10 certificate with them, but they would need to be able to
produce it if requested by an enforcement officer.
'Commercial purposes' includes purchase or sale, offering for sale or
displaying the specimen for commercial purposes, but this is not an
exhaustive list; any activity being carried out where there is commercial
gain as a result of the presence or use of an Annex A animal could be
considered 'commercial purposes'. Ultimately it would be for the Courts to
decide in any case that was brought before them.
Anyone who believes an offence has taken place should inform the police.
With regard to the welfare of birds of prey, under article 4 of the
Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006, there are some
general provisions for the protection of all animals during transport. It
is an offence to transport animals, including people transporting birds,
in a way that will cause injury or unnecessary suffering. Animals must be
transported in a means of transport which takes in to consideration the
conditions required for the animals such as space, ventilation,
temperature, security, liquid and oxygen needed.
The primary responsibility for the enforcement of the transport
legislation rests with local authorities. Local authorities carry out
routine welfare checks on animals and their means of transport and will
take appropriate enforcement measures up to and including prosecution if
Further to these regulations, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (AWA) also
applies. Anyone who considers that animal cruelty or poor welfare has
taken place should report it to the relevant local authority, which has
powers under the AWA to investigate such complaints.
Ministerial Contact Unit
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