Keepers of Bengal eagle owls are being warned that they must now comply with stricter regulations if they want to sell, show or breed the birds commercially. However, due to an oversight, Animal Health will waive the charges normally associated with the correct certification.

Keepers of Bengal eagle owls are being warned that they must now comply with stricter regulations if they want to sell, show or breed the birds commercially. However, due to an oversight, Animal Health will waive the charges normally associated with the correct certification.

Bengal eagle owl
Since 2007, Bengal eagle owls have been listed on Annex B of regulations implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in the EU. This allowed owners to trade the animals within the EU, provided they had been acquired legally and not taken from the wild.

However, it has been discovered that, for the last three years, the birds should have been included on Annex A of the regulations – the list of the most endangered and protected species.

The change to the listing criteria means that owners of Bengal eagle owls must obtain Article 10 certificates for every bird they plan to use for commercial purposes. Failure to do so could result in prosecution.

To help owners stay on the right side of the law, and in recognition of the unusual circumstances that gave rise to this situation, Animal Health will not be charging for Article 10 certificates relating to Bengal eagle owls.

John Hounslow, head of the UK CITES management authority, said his team would adopt a “pragmatic and commonsense approach” to issuing certificates.

He said: “We understand that keepers of Bengal eagle owls applying for Article 10 certificates may not have all the information we would normally expect to accompany an Annex A specimen.

“We will be working with keepers to make sure that they receive the correct paperwork for their animals, and we have shown our willingness to help by waiving the charge normally associated with Article 10 certificates. In return we want keepers of Bengal eagle owls to co-operate with us, and to supply all the information they have regarding the source of the birds they are applying for.

For more information about CITES and how to apply for Article 10 certification please visit the Animal Health website at: www.defra.gov.uk/animalhealth/FAQ/cites.htm

 

Image ©iStockphoto.com/KeithJSmith
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