Is EU sticking it to British pet lovers as Brussels proposes ban on aliens?
Monday, June 18 2012
British pet lovers could be banned from keeping stick insects and other foreign creatures thanks to foreign sticklers in Brussels and proposed EU regulations on ‘invasive alien species’.
West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass has pledged to stick it to the EU by fighting these preposterous plans, which could ban UK pet owners from keeping a stick insect.
This month, Dr David Wood, who is a Principal Teaching Fellow at Warwick University, wrote to UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass to express his fears that stick insects could fall foul of EU regulations which propose banning non-native pets which the EU says pose a “serious threat to native plants and animals in Europe ”.
Mr Nattrass said: “The EU should stop bugging the British people with an ever increasing spider’s web of tacky regulations and leave Westminster to legislate.
“It is not the so-called invasive alien species we should be worried about – we should be more concerned about the invasive alien EU bureaucrats, who need a good old British earwigging.
“Many specialist pet shops could be put out of businesses as a result of these regulations.
“Stick insects are hardly crocodiles. They pose no risk to life and limb and in fact stick insects are captive bred commercially in the UK .
“As a UKIP MEP I am used to sticking it to the EU. We must not be dictated to by this invasive alien EU power. Our laws and regulations should be made in Westminster and not in the goldfish bowl that is the European Parliament.”
In his letter to Mr Nattrass, Dr Wood stated: “I have just heard about the proposed EU legislation currently under consideration, which could ban the keeping of non-native pets in the UK .
“Stick insects kept as pets are bred in captivity in the UK but originate from hot tropical countries including Australia , Thailand and Madagascar .
“Many people in the UK enjoy keeping these stick insects and, in addition, many children develop an interest in the natural world as a direct result of looking after their own stick insects, and some of these children go on to have successful careers as scientists.
“My own children aged seven and eight, who have brought home stick insects from school, have very much enjoyed looking after them and have learnt a lot as a result.
“People look after their stick insects in cages indoors and know not to release them because this is prohibited under the 1981 Countryside and Wildlife Act.
“Even if some were released or escaped outside these would soon perish. The overnight temperatures in the UK are far too cold for tropical stick insects to survive.
“The tropical stick insects are harmless and are no danger to people. They are captive-bred commercially in the UK and are not on endangered or critical species lists. As they cannot survive in the wild they are no threat at all to the British eco-system.
“There is no justification for banning people from keeping pet tropical stick insects in the UK . I am relying on you (Mr Nattrass), as an elected representative, to represent my views on this matter.”
Mike Nattrass has been a UKIP MEP since 2004 and over the years he has actively campaigned against animal cruelty. He believes UK law is superior to EU law and that our laws should be made in Westminister - not in Brussels or Strasbourg.