We’ve had some good feedback from Defra on our lobbying about a variety of issues. But there is still much to be done and we have been asked to provide more information about the issues that particularly affect businesses within our industry. So please help us by completing this short survey. Not all questions will be relevant to your business so it should not take too much time. But all information we receive will help us in our talks with Defra officials.

Find the survey here.

In the meantime Defra has confirmed:

  • People are not prevented from buying pets should they visit a store to buy pet food – so you can still sell fish within your store if you are able to follow all the social distancing rules. Of course this is up to you depending on your assessment of how feasible that is in your store.
  • People who cannot work from home eg pond consultants are encouraged to continue to work but with all the necessary social distancing precautions, including handwashing.
  • Pet businesses which transport animals can continue to do this(subject to WATO, see next bullet point) and the advice is “transporters must plan all journeys carefully, ensuring that the proposed journey is realistic, complies with all relevant legislation and have robust contingency plans in place for the journey”.
  • If you do transport animals in a vehicle, particularly if your shop has started a home delivery service for fish, you need to be aware of the Welfare of Animals in Transport Order (WATO). This sets requirements for vehicles which transport live animals (eg fish) if journeys are over 65 km (about 40 miles) and take longer than eight hours, if you are below the 65 km (about 40 Miles) then you will be OK. If you have started to use a courier service they need to comply and you should always check that they do. Find out more about WATO here. Find out more about WATO here.
  • International freight transport (important as most tropical fish sold are flown into the UK) is a focus of the Government which, we are told, has set up a new Restart, Recovery and Engagement Unit. One of its first jobs is to look at the practical measures required to get aircraft moving again. While this is more than just focusing on cargo it looks like good news that there is an acknowledgement this needs to start happening quickly and we will continue to feed into that process.