The EU Commission has announced that the ban on imports of birds caught in the wild is to be made permanent throughout the European Union later this year.
The move comes after a temporary ban was imposed within the EU in October 2005, after birds in a UK quarantine centre were found to have avian influenza.
"We fully applaud the decision made by the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health." said Dr Clairie Papazoglou, Head of European Division at BirdLife International.
"Banning the imports of birds caught in the wild is great news for bird conservation, even though the ruling has been made to limit the spread of disease, and not to conserve species. Only if laws are made on the basis of conservation can we have more confidence in protecting those species that are threatened by trade."
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