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.

The CBD, which has 190 member countries, is currently meeting in South Korea and has issued voluntary guidelines to countries to help them manage risks associated with non-native animals, flora and fauna introduced through the pet sector.

The guidance also urges countries to work in partnership with their pet industries to achieve its goals.

“We’re pleased to say the pet industry has been ‘on the case’ of invasive species for many years,” said OATA’s Chief Executive Keith Davenport. “For more than a decade pet trade associations and their members have been addressing the issue of invasive species by practical actions both on their own and in co-operation with governments. These were highlighted in brochures and a special side event held at recent CBD meetings attended by staff from OATA, PIJAC USA and PIJAC Canada.

“It’s good to see this international convention recognising that the pet industry is not just talking about taking action or deciding plans but has been leading the way in raising awareness that pets should never been released to the wild to its hundreds of millions of customers across the world. It reinforces messages received from Ministers sent to the UK pet sector that our industry can and increasingly is a major part of the solution of any problems.”

The work of the pet industry was also recognised by Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, who said: “I am grateful for the campaign, Together we can achieve more’ presented by the pet industry group at the occasion of 18th meeting of Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice held in Montreal, Canada in June this year, and wish to work hand-in-hand with the pet industry as important partner for achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 9 on invasive alien species.”

Read our progress reports to the CBD here and here.