HL Deb 08 February 1974 vol 349 c933WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they have taken to test up to date scientific methods for distinguishing the parts of endangered species.


I take it that the noble Lord has in mind the controls at importation over parts and derivatives of endangered species of wildlife. These controls are operated by H.M. Customs and, like other Customs controls, they must be such as can be applied effectively without hampering legitimate trade in other goods. For that reason, the items subject to control are of a kind which can be recognised by Customs officers without special expertise. This is consistent with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which requires import control to be imposed on parts and derivatives only if they are readily recognisable. However, in doubtful cases the Customs would obtain scientific advice from appropriate bodies such as the Nature Conservancy Council, the Government Chemist, or a suitable museum.