UPDATE: 23 May 2019
OATA has responded to a call for submissions from the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee which has launched an inquiry into the impacts of invasive species. As a result OATA has been invited to attend one of the Committee’s evidence gathering hearings, to be held in June.
Our industry is dependent on the global movement of a wide range of species, including fish, aquatic plants and invertebrate species, many of which are not native to the UK. Therefore, we have a responsibility to educate our customers about the need not to release fish or plants into the wild and to ensure high standards of biosecurity when moving animals and plants around the world.
We provide the industry with information on this, such as our Biosecurity guidance and Pet Code of Practice for keepers and traders (in partnership with the Reptile & Exotic Pet Trade Association). And we are keen supporters of the Be Plant Wise initiative (although this is considerably out of date), Invasive Species Week and highlight the ‘no release’ message on all our customer care sheets and encourage our members to include it on their product packaging.
During Invasive Species Week 2019 (13 – 17 May) we also launched a new training module for industry and pet-keepers to educate them about invasive species and biosecurity. Find out more here.
Read our submission on behalf of the industry to the inquiry here. You can find our submission published here.
We have also written to Defra’s Secretary of State Michael Gove and Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardiner asking them to oppose the next EU listing of invasive species – which includes yet more aquatic pond plants. Read our letter here.