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January - February 2011


The following regulatory provisions are named in chronological order, with a brief reference to its contents:

Order of 10 January 2011, of the Minister of the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fishing, modifying the Basque Catalogue of Endangered Species of Wild and Marine Fauna and Flora, and approving the single text

The Order of 10 January 2011 was published in the Official Gazette of the Basque Country of 23/2/2011 modifying the Basque Catalogue of Endangered Species and rewriting it in a single annex to the Order. To prepare it, categories and criteria established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) were used to assess the danger of extinction of any species. This procedure is internationally accepted to define the conservation priority of taxa and has become a global standard.

Commission regulation (EU) no. 15/2011, of 10 January 2011, amending Regulation (EC) no. 2074/2005 as regards recognised testing methods for detecting marine biotoxins in live bivalve molluscs

According to this regulation, published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 11/1/2011, the mouse bioassay and the rat bioassay have been the official methods for the detection of lipophilic biotoxins. However, the Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain of the EFSA noted that these bioassays have shortcomings and are not considered an appropriate tool for control purposes because of the high variability in results, the insufficient detection capability and the limited specificity. Therefore, under this regulation, the European Union bans animal testing for detecting the levels of toxins in edible molluscs, which will prevent the death of 500,000 mice a year.

ARM Order/206/2011, of 4 February, amending APA Order/2405/2002, of 27 September, creating the Spanish Committee of Electronic Tagging of Animals

The order was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) of 10/2/2011 that modifies the composition of the Spanish Committee for Electronic Tagging of Animals in order to simplify decision-making and connect the different agents involved in animal tagging.

Royal Decree 139/2011, of 4 February, developing the List of Wild Species in the Special Protection Scheme and the Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species

Royal decree 139/2011, of 4 February, was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on 23/2/2011, creating a new Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species, a measure derived from the development of the Law on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity. The text of this new royal decree has been agreed and approved with the regions and has been subject to an extensive consulting process in which, in addition to Ministers and the regions, the affected sectors, environmental associations and scientific and professional organisation have participated. The species and populations included require the banning of capture and death and of destruction of their breeding, hibernation and resting grounds and the adoption of restoration and conservation plans in cases where they are considered "in danger of extinction" or "vulnerable". The approval of the new royal decree updates the Catalogue of endangered species in place since 1990 and last revised in 2006, adapting it to the Law on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity. Therefore, this Royal Decree repeals the noted and popular National Catalogue of Endangered Species, approved by Royal Decree 439/1990, of 30 March. The new List and Catalogue includes a total of 898 species, which represents an increase in the level of protection of 327 species and raises the protection category of 39 species that were already included in the previous catalogue.

AMM order /29/2011, of 11 February, annulling the scheme of live capture of finches for traditional activities set out in the Order of 21 July 1999

The Order was published in the Official Gazette of the Government of Catalonia of 23/2/2011 that annuls live capture of finches in this region. Directive 2009/147/EC, of 30 November 2009, on the conservation of wild birds, and Law 42/2007, of 13 December, on natural heritage and biodiversity, ordinarily ban the live capture of finches, allowing this under exceptional circumstances when there is no other satisfactory solution and provided that it does not affect the favourable state of conservation of the populations and that certain circumstances arise (which include, the birds are not included on the list of species under the protection scheme; that it is done in small quantities; under strictly controlled conditions; and using selective methods). While the Catalan order does not regulate exceptions to the ban on capturing and owning finches, the order from 1999 that regulated this activity must be annulled.

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