Part of our work as a trade association is to ensure the ‘collective’ voice of the industry is heard by government. One of the ways we do that is to respond on behalf of the trade to consultations launched by Westminster or the devolved administrations where they ask for information on particular subjects from a wide range of stakeholders. Recently we’ve responded to a number of these.

Two have been about how to manage a number of invasive species that have got a hold in the UK countryside. Both Great Britain and Northern Ireland have asked for feedback on how to deal with a number of plants and animals which are now banned from sale in the UK. Of most interest to our industry are the aquatic plants and Trachemys scripta (terrapins).

You can read our responses below where we continue to raise issues around the lack of enforcement regulations for banned species, illegal online sales of banned species and our concerns about pet terrapins and what alternatives there are for owners who can no longer keep them.

OATA’s response to Management measures for widely spread Invasive Alien Species consultation (GB)

Here’s the government’s Interim Response to the whole consultation. And here is the Government’s final response to the consultation.

OATA response to management measures for widely spread invasive species consultation (NI)

We’ve also put in a submission to a Welsh Assembly consultation on its proposed licensing for animal exhibits. While this doesn’t on the face of it look as if it would have much impact on our industry we still felt there were points to be made about exotic pets in general. And we wanted to raise awareness about our recent report into Animal Activities Licensing in England because we know the Welsh Assembly will be looking at pet shop licensing in the near future. We don’t want them to make the same mistakes by just replicating the English guidance – as they seem to have done when looking at this issue of Animal Exhibits.

OATA response to Welsh Assembly Animal Exhibits consultation

Our final submission was to the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs which was asking for comments on its draft Animal Health and Welfare Strategic Framework. This included reference to companion animals (pets) so we always need to make sure that officials realise that fish are pets too! Much of the emphasis in this document is farmed animals. Our concern is always ‘unintended consequences’ when new regulations make sense for farm animals but inadvertently cover companion animals which end up having huge consequences for an industry officials hadn’t considered.

OATA response to the Draft Northern Ireland Animal Health and Welfare Strategic Framework

We have also submitted a response to a stakeholder consultation for the draft GB Non Native Species Secretariat rapid risk assessments which are relevant to our industry – Cape pondweed (Water Hawthorn) and Golden club. Read the risk assessments for Aponogeton distachyos (Cape pondweed) &  Orontium aquaticum (Golden Club).


OATA response to GB Non Native Species Secretariat risk assessment

Thank you to the GB Non Native Species Secretariat for the use of the photo.