Latest News

Fishponds get hosepipe ban exemption

Two water companies have announced restrictions to hosepipes and sprinkler - known as Temporary Use Bans (TUB) - in August. We're pleased to see that both have given exemptions to fish ponds to enable owners or pond consultants to continue to top up ponds to ensure...

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Printable labels for QR code caresheets

Retailers have to provide customer care information when they sell animals as part of the licensing requirements for all pet shops. To help aquatic retailers OATA created QR codes to give digital access to all our caresheets so that customers can use their smartphones...

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EPO AGM confirms board

The EPO AGM 2022 took place at Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany on May 26th, 2022 and OATA's Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee has again been voted in as one of three Vice Presidents. During the AGM EPO members unanimously re-appointed both the President and the Treasurer...

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Don’t be foiled by the wrong Milfoil plant

OATA is launching a new plant ID guide during Invasive Species Week 2022 to help aquatic businesses ensure they are selling the right types of Milfoil (Myriophyllum) species. OATA has been alerted by regulators to a rising number of illegal imports of the two...

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Fishkeepers wanted for substrate research

Can you help spread the word about this research project by Waltham Pet Science Institute (Mars Petcare) and the University of the West of Scotland which is looking for home aquarium owners to provide substrate samples? The two institutions are investigating the use...

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Plastic packaging tax

A new plastic packaging tax came into force in April 2022 which means if you manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within a 12 month period, you may need to register for the tax. Find out all you need to know about the new tax and if it applies...

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Pet fish ownership jumps during the pandemic years

Latest pet population statistics show that pet fish ownership has shot up over the past couple of years. This backs up industry experiences which revealed a high interest in setting up new indoor tanks and digging garden ponds since 2020, as a response to more time in...

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Enrichment advice for shop tanks

We have been contacted by a number of aquatic stores about the issue of enrichment in shop tanks, following queries from local authority inspectors during animal activity licensing visits. We asked our Primary Authority partner the City of London Corporation for some...

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Get ready for 1 July changes to EU imports to GB

1 July Import Requirements for plants From 1 July there are new requirements for importing plants and plant products to Great Britain from the EU, Liechtenstein and Switzerland: All plants and plant products, apart from those listed as deregulated, require a...

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Be Plant Wise during pond season

As Spring takes hold then lots of people turn their attention to their garden ponds. So it's the perfect time to help to spread the message about the Be Plant Wise campaign to your customers. As people tend to their ponds or decide to dig new ones please help people...

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Updated guides for members

We have updated our guides for OATA members on Product Safety, Electrical Goods and Fair Trading in partnership with our Primary Authority partner Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Councils. These have all been updated in line with recent changes to legislation,...

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New coral ID project under way

OATA is very pleased to be playing our part in a new research project being undertaken by Cefas looking into the trade in live coral from Indonesia. There are challenges identifying maricultured and wild coral so in response to this coral identification challenge,...

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New licensing regime for Scottish pet shops

A new licensing regime for businesses which sell animals as pets has now launched in Scotland. This replaces the old system of pet shop licensing. It mirrors what has happened in England and Wales. Read the new guidance for businesses selling animals as pets to help...

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Latest advice on EU trade issue workarounds

The below has been issued by the Business Readiness Forum, part of Defra's Biosecurity, Borders & Trade Programme, to help businesses experiencing issues importing goods from the EU. Workaround solutions for IPAFFS to keep you moving Question: If you encounter any...

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English pet shop licensing review

Defra has reviewed its mandatory guidance on animal activity licensing in England. It has rewritten the guidance for businesses which sell animals commercially and it came into force on 1 February 2022. Read the updated guidance here. If you're getting ready for your...

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OATA hands out second special stakeholder award

OATA has handed out its second Stakeholder Engagement Award to Rob Quest of Heathrow’s Animal Reception Centre in recognition of his long-standing work with the industry. The OATA team wanted to acknowledge the work Rob has done over many years, both at the airport to...

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Exporting to the EU – changes ahead

Following the implementation of the new EU Animal Health Law (Regulation (EU) 2016/429  the EU has introduced new model Animal Health Certificates for the export of aquatic animals from third countries (which includes Great Britain) to EU member states. You will need...

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Avoid moss balls from Ukraine

OATA has updated its guidance surrounding non-native zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and the issues that have occurred with infestations in moss balls, including avoiding products sourced from the Ukraine. There have been incidences reported in countries such as...

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New faces welcomed to OATA Board of Directors

Two new directors were welcomed to the OATA Board at the trade association’s Annual General Meeting which was held on Zoom on 24 November. Dr Sean Evans of Wharf Aquatics and Rob Peck of The Coral Centre were voted onto the Board after vacancies were created when a...

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New pet shop licensing regime for Wales

The Animals Activities Licensing regime for Wales came into force on September 2021. From that date any business in Wales commercially trading live animals needs a licence from their local authority issued under the new regulations. Retailers and wholesalers who sell...

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UPDATED: OATA responds to product safety review

November 2021 - update The OPSS has published its response to the consultation and you can read it here. We are also pleased to see the new campaign from OPSS which has been launched to raise awareness about buying products online. June 2021 With help from a number of...

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Get ready for pet shop licensing

Are you getting ready for your pet shop/animal activities licensing visit? While at AQUA last week we heard from a number of shops which needed help after licensing authorities wanted to put extra conditions on their licence. If you're an OATA business and you find...

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Special award for a special official

OATA has handed out a special Stakeholder Engagement Award to Alasdair Scott of the Fish Health Inspectorate in recognition of his long-standing work with the industry. The OATA team wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the work Alasdair has done over many...

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Pet shop licensing in Wales & Scotland

Changes are afoot in both Wales and Scotland which have both introduced new regulations on the licensing of animal activities such as pet shops. While legislation has been passed and is now in force the guidance used by local authorities on which to base their...

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We’re off to AQUA2021!

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at AQUA2021 at Telford International Conference Centre next week! Our stand is J3 so come along to find out more about what OATA has been up to and to find our special show offers on OATA membership and training packages. Find...

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Updated advice on moss balls

OATA has updated its advice for retailers and hobbyists about how to ensure moss balls imported into the UK are not carrying an infestation of zebra mussels. There have been incidences reported in countries such as the USA, Sweden, and the UK where the invasive...

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OATA welcomes new member to the team

OATA has welcomed Matthew Hill as its new Scientific Support Officer. Matthew joins from the University of Portsmouth where he was a Research Associate working on trade data analysis. In his new role he will support OATA’s Scientific and Technical Advisor with...

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Free viewing for Wild Caught documentary

Thanks to sponsorship from three companies, including the UK’s Tropical Marine Centre, the Wild Caught: Aquarium Fish Trade of the Amazon documentary is now available to watch for free on YouTube. The 90 minute documentary is the first documentary to examine the...

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Export health certificates

The EU has deferred the date to start using the new EU Export Health Certificates from 21 August to 15 January 2022. This means that any certificates in the old format signed off before 15 January will be accepted by the EU up to 15 March 2022. Find the right...

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Axolotl import rules

We understand there may be a growing interest in axolotls following the inclusion of a new character in the computer game Minecraft, which might mean more shops are selling these amphibians. To import live amphibians of the order Caudata (such as salamanders and...

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Good Morning Britain – a response

We have seen the recent piece (Thursday July 29) on Good Morning Britain about aquariums which offered a sadly very confused discussion about this important subject. We’re not providing a link because we do not want to give PETA the oxygen of publicity and it’s very...

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CITES extend project looking at marine fish

Ornamental Fish International and our partner trade organisations, the European Pet Organisation and the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association, welcome the decision by the CITES Animals Committee to extend the reporting scheduling of the work on marine ornamental...

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Latest update from Hawaii

News from Hawaii is that the revised environmental impact statement for Hawaii was accepted by default in the meeting of the Board of Land and Natural Resources. Y0u can read a write up about the meeting here. OATA joined other global trade organisations to write to...

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World Ocean Day

Today (8 June) is World Ocean Day and the theme for this year is ‘The Ocean – Life and Livelihoods’. Click on the image below to learn more on how our industry provides important livelihoods in remote parts of the world and read more here on our website about wild...

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OATA supports Invasive Species Week 2021

It seems that 2020 proved a bumper year for the creation of new ponds in our back gardens, as more people started to enjoy and invest in creating a haven in their outdoor space. According to the Horticultural Trade Association there are more than 2 million new...

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Plant health fees to go up in June

The new Plant Health etc.(Fees) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 will come into force on 1 June 2021. These changes will apply to England only but it is expected that Wales and Scotland will also apply such fees in due course. Essentially, this Regulation...

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New pet shop licensing regime coming to Wales

Welsh retail members will need to get ready for a potential change to pet shop licensing rules after the Welsh Senedd voted in a new law that takes effect from 10 September. The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021 covers...

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Trading animals with Europe – dates extended

The Government has announced that it is extending the timetable for the introduction of the next stage of UK import requirements in order to ensure minimal disruption to supply chains. This will affect both plant importers and those who import animals and products of...

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Exporting fish from GB to Northern Ireland

We have consolidated all the advice we have received from Fish Health Inspectorate to help GB businesses which export live ornamental fish to Northern Ireland. Following exit from the EU, four options are available for GB businesses for exporting non-susceptible live...

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Plant health controls extended

The Government has announced a revised timetable for the introduction of plant health controls for EU trade. Since 1 January 2021, phytosanitary certificates have been required to accompany imports of high-priority plants and plant products. Documentary, identity and...

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OATA responds to CAWF Fish Welfare Report

OATA has responded to comments made in a recent Fish Health Report by the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, calling them unjustified and showing a lack of proper research into the way live ornamental fish are transported. The recent report, which mainly focuses...

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New controls on Vallisneria

We have received enquiries regarding imports of the aquatic plant genus Vallisneria into Great Britain. This genus is subject to plant health phytosanitary controls in order to be imported from third countries (which now includes the EU) to GB (i.e. England, Scotland...

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OATA writes to ministers on transport issues

We are aware that there are numerous issues around transport facing our industry, both for livestock and products coming into the UK from Europe and the rest of the world. We have therefore tried to highlight a number of the most pressing in a letter we have sent to a...

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Update on CITES marine fish proposal

We have had an update about the latest plans from CITES on its proposal to examine the trade and conservation of marine fish. You can find the background here. UNEP-WCMC (UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre) has been contracted as project...

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Lockdown rules on essential shopping

The Scottish Government has this week tightened up its rules around non-essential shopping and working in people’s homes. While pet shops remain essential we would urge retailers to revisit all the Covid-19 precautions within your store to make sure they are operating...

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Importing reptiles, amphibians & invertebrates

From the 1 January you will need to comply with the following requirements for the commercial import from the EU of Reptiles, Amphibians (except Salamanders) and Invertebrates (except bees, molluscs, crustaceans and corals) Commercial imports must be pre-notified via...

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Goods vehicle driving in the EU

If you drive to Europe to collect fish then make sure you know the latest information about driving in the EU. You won’t just be able to rely on your British driving licence. Find out more here. The transport of live animal rules have also changed recently for drivers...

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Plant inspection fees to stay the same until 2022

We have to look for small rays of light in all the Brexit gloom and here at least is one. We’ve been told by APHA that, despite a review, it will not be increasing its fees until October 2022. Plants, plant products and other objects entering Great Britain from the EU...

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EU coral ban averted

The European Union Scientific Review Group (SRG) has considered whether to ban Australian exports of hard coral species Catalaphyllia jardinei, Duncanopsammia axifuga, Euphyllia ancora, E. glabrescens, and E. paraancora at its meeting on 3 December. No conclusive...

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Documentary examines wild caught fishery in Brazil

A new film examining the artisanal fishing trade for the home aquarium industry in Brazil has been released on Vimeo. Wild Caught: The Aquarium Fish Trade of the Amazon is the first full length documentary to investigate the trade of tropical fish, the benefits it...

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OATA plays its part in CASC review of AAL

The Companion Animal Sector Council (CASC) has submitted its views on the Selling Animals as Pets guidance as part of a first-year review announced by Defra. OATA is part of CASC and played its part in submitting industry feedback. The Animal Activities licensing...

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Pet shops are essential retailers – latest

With new lockdown restrictions starting in England, as well as the circuit breaker in Wales and new tiers in Scotland, we wanted to remind you that pet shops are essential retailers so can remain open. You are also allowed to continue to work if you cannot work from...

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Time to remind customers you’re there to help

As restrictions vary greatly across the UK we are hearing that for some footfall to businesses is falling. But there is no part of the UK where essential retailers such as pet shops are required to close. So now’s a good time to remind your customers you are open and...

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New Scots group to look at exotic pets

The Scottish Government recently set up a new body called the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission and one of its first tasks has been to form a working group to look at exotic pets. It has asked OATA to give its perspective for fish, which would be considered an exotic...

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Courier services that carry fish

Our shopping habits are changing because of Covid-19 and many more people are buying fish online, without always visiting a shop to choose the particular fish they want. One thing that has not changed is the law that covers the transport of live animals – in this case...

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OATA AGM confirms Directors for the next year

Three new faces were welcomed to the OATA Board at the trade association’s Annual General Meeting, which for the first time was held on Zoom. Ballot papers were sent to all OATA members before the AGM and the final count was taken at the meeting held on Wednesday...

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UK Plant Passport – new regime

Plant importers and wholesalers need to get to grips with new requirements if they bring in aquatic plants from the EU from 1 January 2021. And if you supply to Northern Irish businesses the rules will be different again. New UK Plant Passports will need to be applied...

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Be Plant Wise & help spread the message

The Be Plant Wise campaign is being relaunched during UK Plant Health Week and we're urging all retailers and wholesalers which sell or supply aquatic plants to get behind the new look campaign and start spreading the message. As autumn is upon us people will start...

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EPO AGM press notice

OATA is a member of the European Pet Organization (EPO) which recently held its AGM. Below is the press release sent out following the meeting by EPO. Due to the COVID19 exceptional situation, this year EPO Assembly General Meeting took place virtually on September...

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Get ready for IT import changes

New systems are coming into force for imports coming into the UK and importers need to get ready for the changes. Accordng to an email from Defra's SPS IT Programme - Business Readiness Team – Imports and Exports team, it says: The European Commission will no longer...

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Read our latest Annual Report

Read our latest Annual Report - Reflections on a Changing World - where we review the the past year and share our views on the issues likely to shape our industry in the future, in particular how Covid-19 has affected the High Street, our changing relationship with...

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Items to be removed from sale in August

All barley straw extract products can no longer be sold and any remaining products need to be removed from your shelves. Some barley straw extract manufacturers were given a grace period to sell products until 1 August but because that has now passed all barley straw...

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Face coverings in shops

The Government has announced that face coverings will be mandatory from 24 July when shopping in England which means customers coming to your shop are obliged to wear one. Those people who don’t wear a face covering in shops face a fine of up to £100. You can refuse...

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New qualification to lose ornamental fish focus

We’d urge people within the aquatics industry to urgently take part in a consultation on the new T-level qualification which is happening now (it ends on Monday July 13). We’re concerned that these new qualifications are cutting back on specific teaching about...

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Let’s get Positive About Pets

OATA has joined forces again with the Pet Food Manufacturers Trade Association and the Reptile and Exotic Pet Trade Association to put together a new leaflet to send to MPs called Positive About Pets. We want MPs to know how important it is to support all types of pet...

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UPDATED New border controls for 2021

The Government has announced new border controls that will come into effect next year following the end of the transition period out of the European Union. It says that in recognition of the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, the UK will...

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Updated guides for captive newts & salamanders

We've worked with a number of other organisations to produce these updated guidance documents to reduce the disease risk in captive newts and salamanders and help stop it spreading to the wild amphibian population. Please download and share with your customers....

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Updated advice for shops

As lockdown restrictions start to lift – albeit at different rates across the UK – there is continuing updated advice coming out of the UK Government and devolved administrations about how to work safely. England In England, updated advice to businesses has been...

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Defra feedback on our lobbying efforts

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...

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OATA responds to Government calls for evidence

We have responded to various calls for evidence from the UK Government and devolved administrations, and bodies which support them, to help them understand the very particular issues being faced by our small industry. With great support from our Board members we’ve...

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8 tips to help you connect with your customers

Social media engagement has grown hugely since lockdown as people spend more time on their phones scrolling for distraction, entertainment and escapism from what’s going on around us. No doubt you are experiencing more activity on your social media channels and, if...

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OATA writes to BEIS on behalf of industry

We have written to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to raise some important points that we believe particularly affect our industry and our members. We have had information about the disproportionate effect on aquatic businesses which face...

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Moving to selling online

Many shops may be looking at how to set up an online shop for the first time, if you do not already have one. We’ve done some research to pull together some advice on how to tackle this. Things you need to think about will include creating the online shop on your...

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Can pond and aquarium consultants carry on working?

The Government advice is constantly being updated and clarified and there is now a range of information saying you can still work, even it is not considered ‘essential’ work, if your work cannot be done from home. Ultimately it is for you to decide, in conjunction...

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Update from Office for Product Safety & Standards

We've received this useful round-up from the Office for Product Safety and Standards (part of the Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy department) team. It says: Among the measures announced by the Chancellor to support businesses are: a Coronavirus Job...

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Temporary home delivery of plants

If you have set up a temporary home delivery service for plants then unfortunately this does mean you should be issuing plant passports to the customers who receive them. You might not have done this before if you only sold plants in your shops direct to customers. We...

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Can I travel to my pet shop to work?

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 places restrictions on movement and states that “During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse”. Section 6(f) of the regulations...

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Pet shops can stay open

Pet shops are allowed to open under the restrictions introduced by the Government last night (23 March). According to guidance on gov.uk here these are the shops that can remain open: supermarkets and other food shops, health shops, pharmacies including non-dispensing...

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Advice on ‘key worker’ status

Many of you will have questions about the guidance released by Government about who qualifies as ‘key workers’ in relation to the closure of schools. The relevant section of the Government advice states: “This [key worker status] includes those involved in food...

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Free online awareness course on coronavirus

Our training package provider Nimble has kindly given us permission to offer access to this free online awareness raising course on COVID-19 (coronavirus) for businesses and their staff to work through. It’s based on the latest current medical advice (which will be...

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More changes to imports from outside the EU

We have been alerted to more changes to the way imports of live animals need to be processed coming into the UK. See the email below from Defra and this information to help. Business Readiness - Registrations v2 (004) From: SM-Defra-Defra Imports and Exports...

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New enforcement powers on banned species

An enforcement regime to stop the sale of illegal invasive species has finally come onto the statue books in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019 comes into effect on 1 December 2019 which means...

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Update on new European Border Inspection Posts

There has been an update in relation to new Border Inspection Posts (BIP) at the Channel ports and Republic of Ireland that will now accept live animals. If you look at the attached document, the BIPs that accept live aquatic animals only are marked as Code O while...

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UPDATED: Can you still sell barley straw extract?

Following discussions with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), OATA wishes to remind retailers of biocidal products containing barley straw extract that Control of Pesticides Regulation (COPR) Approval for this active substance was revoked by the HSE on Tuesday 19...

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New plant passport requirements from December

Following the news that the European Commission has granted the UK a further Brexit extension until 31 January 2020, it is likely that the UK will be subject to the implementation of the Smarter Rules for Safer Foods (SRSF) regulations at the same time as the EU...

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OATA hands out Lifetime Achievement Award

Aqua One Managing Director Mark Winter has been recognised for his work in the aquatics industry by being awarded OATA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Mark was presented the award at the AQUA2019 show dinner by Dr David Pool. Mark has worked for more than two decades in...

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Trade intervention at CITES CoP18

Our Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee (pictured), present at CITES CoP18 on behalf of the European Pet Organization, made the following intervention on Proposal 94 Conservation management of and trade in marine ornamental fishes. "This intervention has the support of...

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Water lettuce plant gets reprieve from EU sales ban

The European Commission is calling a temporary halt to its plans to ban the sale of Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) plant. The popular pond plant was one of three aquatic plants being considered for inclusion on the EU’s list of banned invasive species, along with...

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Trade bodies: urgent review of English licensing

An investigation into the new Animal Activities Licensing system in England has revealed it has done little to improve animal welfare but is tying up businesses in unnecessary red tape, taking up precious time that could be used to look after animals. The lack of...

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New documentary on wild caught fish

We are looking forward to a new 90 minute documentary which examines the benefits of the aquarium trade to rainforest conservation. The film has been made by film maker Don McConnell who joined Project Piaba on one of its trips to Amazonas region of Brazil. In the...

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New training launched for Invasive Species Week

OATA today (13 May 2019) launches its new Invasive Non-Native Species and Biosecurity training module to coincide with Invasive Species Week’s Freshwater Day, organised to raise awareness about non-native flora and fauna. The new training module is aimed at retailers,...

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Say no to goldfish at fairs, says OATA

OATA is urging people to refuse to accept prize live goldfish at fairs and is also calling for  local authorities to support its position that fish should not be given away in this way at places like fairgrounds. As the fair season approaches, the UK trade body which...

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FHI alert on illegally imported species

Fish Health Inspectorate has alerted us to recent imports of a number of illegal ornamental aquatic species that cannot be kept or sold in the UK. We therefore need to remind importers, wholesalers, retailers and keepers that the only crayfish (lobster) that can be...

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Our training gets City & Guilds accreditation

OATA is re-launching its industry training packages with new online courses after gaining City & Guilds accreditation. We have revamped and updated the course contents of our Foundation and Advanced Training programmes which have now been assessed and accredited...

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Another plant ban looms from EU

It looks like our industry is heading towards another aquatic plan ban, thanks to the EU Invasive Alien Species regulation. This time it’s Pistia stratiotes (Water lettuce), Salvinia molesta (Giant Salvinia) & Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Senegal tea plant), along...

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New trading standard guides for members

OATA has joined forces with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Trading Standards team to provide new support and advice guidance for its members. Three new guides have been produced for OATA members covering electrical goods, product safety and fair trading to help...

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Advice on selling betta fish in pet shops

We have seen this story in National Geographic about betta fish and a PETA campaign against US pet superstores that sell these fish. Despite what the story says we were not asked for a comment. Our advice to our members is always to follow the Primary Authority advice...

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UPDATED: New licensing regime for England

Find out everything you need to know to get ready for the new animal activities licensing regime that came into force in ENGLAND on 1 October 2018. This new regime covers any commercial business selling pets as animals - so that means pet shops, wholesalers and home...

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UPDATED Importing Gars – Action Required

All importers are reminded that only specimens of pure bred Florida and Cuban gars are imported into the England and Wales. Despite previous warnings illegal import of hybrid gars have been found. If importers have any doubt as to the identity of any gars from the...

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New import rules on Caudata to come in July

New EU rules on the import of Caudata amphibians such as newts and salamanders are being introduced on 1 July 2018 in the UK. The new rules seek to stop the spread of the fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). The European Commission had initially...

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OATA responds to Scottish pet shop licensing review

We have responded to the private bill which calls for a reform of pet shop licensing in Scotland, proposed by MSP Jeremy Balfour. We welcome the proposal to review pet shop licensing because, for many years, OATA has been calling for a common, coherent and consistent...

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Indonesian coral ban

Worrying news from Indonesia which is the latest country to stop sales - this time of corals - that will affect our industry. The situation is somewhat confused about why the ban has been introduced and Interzoo offered a chance for Ornamental Fish International to...

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UPDATED: Advice on preventing palytoxin poisoning

OATA has joined forces with key public health officials to produce guidance to help marine aquarium hobbyists who keep corals protect themselves against palytoxin poisoning. Health Protection Scotland approached OATA with a request to help produce the advice after a...

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Channa sales ban on hold after an OATA challenge

Plans to ban the sale of Channa and three aquatic plant species across the whole of the UK have had a reprieve following a challenge by OATA to the EU. A proposal by Spain had put the whole Channa genus in jeopardy but the European Commission has announced that no...

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Aquarium Industry Targets Illegal Cyanide Fishers

Scientists are a step closer to ending the deadly and destructive practice of illegal cyanide fishing…thanks to new research. The use of cyanide to stun and capture fish for both the ornamental and food trades is still a problem in tropical seas, particularly in the...

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OATA hands out Lifetime Achievement Award

23 October 2017 Retired Chief Executive Keith Davenport has been recognised for his work in the aquatics industry by being awarded OATA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Keith, who spent 25 years at the helm of OATA, was presented the award at the AQUA2017 show dinner by...

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How to protect your garden pond against otters

We’ve seen a number of stories about otters raiding garden ponds for fish. Otters are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to capture, injure, kill or deliberately disturb wild otters. However, there are some ways garden pond owners can protect...

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Clear these pond plants from shelves for good

3 August 2017 Four popular pond plants must be cleared from shop shelves from today and can no longer be sold to the public. American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus), Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana), Lagarosiphon major and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)...

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Channa under the spotlight for EU ban

31 July 2017 The European Union is working on its next list of invasive species to ban across Member States under the EU Alien Invasive Species Regulation. Confusingly this is called the Second Review which has produced a third list. Yet again, the ornamental aquatic...

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More pond plants banned from sale by the EU

21 July 2017 The European Union has added four more aquatic plants to the banned list of species that can no longer be sold in the UK in the future. Transitional arrangements will be in place to enable the plants to continue to be sold for a year – provided...

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Pet owners have a powerful voice in this election

We have joined forces with the Pet Charity and REPTA to send a leaflet outlining just how great pets are to would-be politicians and to point out that almost half of the voters they meet when canvassing will be living with a pet of some kind. You can read the leaflet...

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OATA welcomes Next Steps on pet shop licensing

2 February 2017 OATA has broadly welcomed the Next Steps document issued by Defra today (2 February) outlining its proposed approach to the licensing of ‘animal activities’, including pet shops. In its joint submission with PIF and REPTA to the original consultation...

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Corals which cannot be imported into the UK

14 December 2015 This list shows the existing EU import suspensions on coral species from various countries. [embeddoc url="https://ornamentalfish.org/wp-content/uploads/EU-decisions-on-corals-2016.xlsx" download="all" viewer="microsoft"] There have been instances...

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Myxocyprinus asiaticus fish can’t be sold in UK

8 December 2016 We have been notified by the Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) that they’ve recently seized two batches of Myxocyprinus asiaticus, traded as Chinese high fin loach, from retailers. These freshwater fish aren’t licensed under ILFA so can’t be sold in the...

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New fish species on CITES Appendix III

31 October 2016 Just to let you know that you will need certain CITES permits if you sell or import the Ocellate River Stingray (Potamotrygon motoro) from Brazil and Colombia, the Zebra pleco (Hypancistrus zebra) from Brazil or the Discus Ray (Paratrygon aiereba) from...

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Don’t buy ‘Dory’ on a whim, warns OATA

15 June 2016 Don’t buy fish on a whim after watching the new Finding Dory film, warns the UK trade body that represents the ornamental aquatic industry. The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) is worried that the increasing nature of online sales could...

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OATA hands out Lifetime Achievement Award

22 October 2015 Dr David Pool has been recognised for his work in the aquatics industry by being awarded OATA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. David, who is the founder of www.fishscience.co.uk, has worked in the industry most of his working life, including 25 years at...

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Goldfish are not a threat to British pond life

We have read with interest the scientific paper published in PLoS One journal claiming that goldfish pose a risk to frogs in garden ponds because of ranavirosis. However, we do not believe the evidence in that paper is strong enough to draw that conclusion so people...

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Retailers urged to reject dyed fish for sale

21 May 2015 The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association is calling on its members not to import or sell dyed or tattooed fish. They are also being urged to be alert to requests for large quantities of fish to be used as table decorations at parties and events and not to...

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Chytrid fungus reaches the UK

30 April 2015 With news that the chytrid fungus has reached the UK, OATA is again urging UK amphibian keepers to maintain good biosecurity with their pets to make sure this new fungus does not spread to our wild populations. That means making sure animals absolutely...

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New guidance on invasive species from CBD

16 October 2014 The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association has welcomed new guidance to the pet industry on invasive species from the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and says the sector has already been doing much of what’s recommended for more than a decade....

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If you would like to get in touch our office hours are Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Tel:: 01373 301353
Email: info@ornamentalfish.org
Fax: 01373 301236