UK falls foul of EU over bird laws: Case C-131/05, Commission v UK

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued its judgement in the case of Commission v UK on 17 November 2005.

In the case, the Commission was seeking a declaration of the Court that the UK had failed in its obligations under the Birds Directive (Directive 79/409/EEC) and the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EC) by not adopting the necessary measures to comply with Article 6(1) of the Birds Directive and Articles 12(2) and 13(1) read in conjunction with Article 2(1) of the Habitats Directive. Article 6(1) of the Birds Directive requires Member States to prohibit, for all bird species referred to in Article 1 of the Directive, the sale, transport for sale, keeping for sale and the offering for sale of live or dead birds and of any recognizable parts or derivatives of such birds.

While the UK Government submitted that it has since introduced the necessary measures to comply with the Directive provisions, the Court could not take account of changes introduced after the period laid down in the reasoned opinion issued to the UK. The Court therefore held that, by not adopting, within the prescribed period, all the measures necessary to comply with Article 6(1) of the Birds Directive and Articles 12(2) and 13(1), read in conjunction with Article 2(1), of the Habitats Directive, the UK had failed to fulfil its obligations under those directives.

The full judgement is available in English at the following link:

http://curia.eu.int/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=en&Submit=Submit&alldocs=alldocs&docj=docj&docop=docop&docor=docor&docjo=docjo&numaff=&datefs=&datefe=&nomusuel=&domaine=ENVC&mots=&resmax=100

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