The rise of the internet has changed the way we shop. Social media sites also make it very easy to connect and find communities who share similar interests to you. But with that freedom should come responsibility.

We do not believe live animals, such as fish, should be sold online but we also cannot ignore changing shopping habits, which is why we launched our guide to selling and buying fish online.

But our members regularly tell us about their concerns about what is being sold online – for example potentially illegal corals in closed Facebook groups. Buyers may not be aware that it is illegal to sell some corals and invertebrates which also puts them at risk of prosecution.

What we are doing

  • We have created our own guide to the responsible selling of fish online to give traders and customers the chance to ensure transport is done to a high standard.
  • We are a member of the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) and support its Minimum Standards guideline
  • We have provided lists of closed Facebook groups selling fish and corals to PAAG which was collating examples to provide the Defra ministers
  • We raised these issues with the Government in its Hidden Economy consultation
  • We are always happy to help our members if you are concerned with animals or corals being sold on closed sites.
  • We report sales to the relevant authorities such as APHA, Fish Health Inspectorate and Customs.
  • We are looking at ways to further identify problem online sales to give us further evidence in our lobbying work with Defra.