Seahorses: Sales

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th December 2017.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Conservative, East Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that online marketplaces abide by all UK and EU laws on the sale of seahorses.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Seahorses are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Trade of seahorses into, and from, the EU is regulated by CITES permits, however they can be freely traded within the EU without a CITES permit provided that they have been legally acquired.

It is for the police, including the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU), which is partly funded by Defra, to investigate any cases involving the illegal trading of seahorses, including intelligence concerning potential illegal trading on online marketplaces. The NWCU has investigated a number of such cases.

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