Thank you for writing to me about the global wildlife trade. All carefully read and noted by me.
I’m afraid that, as a matter of principle and like any other MPs, I don’t sign EDMs which have no real parliamentary function and yet are very expensive to administer. But I will certainly try to attend the parliamentary reception on 21st October and will check my diary accordingly.
I am also very sympathetic to the thrust of your concerns. Poorly managed and illegal wildlife trading poses threats to animal health and welfare, diminishes our biodiversity, undermines governance, and can result in serious public health issues. I am pleased that the UK is at the forefront of international efforts to regulate global trade in wild animals, and Ministers and officials regularly raise concerns with other Governments and with international authorities. I will continue to monitor this closely.
The UK Government is fully committed to tackling the environmental drivers of pandemics, including by reversing global biodiversity loss, tackling both unsustainable and illegal wildlife trade, and pressing for significantly higher standards in live animal markets around the world. Ministers continue to consider the many complex issues around the global trade in wildlife, including its relationship to Covid-19 and colleagues and I will support policy interventions where these are shown to be effective in mitigating future risk of zoonotic diseases.
I would like to assure you that the Government will continue to address the illegal wildlife trade through bilateral discussions and through international partnerships. It is encouraging that through these methods, the UK was able to successfully secure a strong illegal wildlife trade resolution at last year's United Nations General Assembly. The UK has also announced a £220 million international biodiversity fund to protect and enhance global biodiversity, £30 million of which will go to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking