Import into the EU of furs from animals caught in leghold traps and snares

The use of leghold traps to catch animals has been banned in the EU since 1991. The import of furs from animals caught in leghold traps outside the EU was banned at the same time. However, under the trade agreement between the EU and Canada the import of animals caught in leghold traps is permitted as long as they work on the development of humane traps. A number of ‘humane trapping standards’ were also established, under which Canada was supposed to comply with the rules when using leghold traps and snares.

According to Article 5(2)(b) of the Commission’s proposal for a directive of 30 July 2004 (COM(2004) 0532 — 2004/0183(COD)), these humane trapping standards imply that up to 20 % of the animals trapped may experience self-directed biting leading to severe injury, fracture, severance of a tendon or ligament, major periosteal abrasion, ocular damage including corneal laceration, and amputation.

In view of this:

  1. Is it the Commission’s intention that imports should be accepted in perpetuity on the basis of the criteria that form part of the existing agreements?

  2. How will the Commission ensure that established humane trapping standards are respected?