Pets play an important part in our society. It’s estimated 13 million UK households own a pet and people spend almost £6billion a year on them – from food to accessories and veterinary care.
All that cash generates taxes of more than £2.2billion annually and provides jobs to 50,000 people in the UK. There are more than 3,000 pet shops in the UK and approximately 2,000 of these sell tropical fish. Our industry alone employs around 12,000 people, mainly in SMEs, all of whom contribute to UK tax revenue. And there are four million UK households which own fish – that’s about 14% of the population – and they spend between £400-500 million a year on their hobby
Pets also help us stay healthy and are estimated to save the NHS at least £1.4billion a year. We estimate that the benefits of pet ownership, in terms of tax generated and NHS spending spared, is about £3.58 billion a year. Without these benefits, the basic rate of income tax would have to up up by a penny in the pound. Research has shown that aquariums have been found to improve behaviour and staff satisfaction in dementia units and an aquarium in the dining room of a care home has been shown to improve appetite among residents.
What we are doing
- We firmly believe that educating people to find the right pet for their lifestyle is the key to happy and healthy pets. That’s why we have created a range of care sheets, how to videos and pet guides to help people find the right fish for them. We are working with fellow pet industry trade associations and the Pet Charity to create a one stop shop for people to find useful information to help them when they research getting a pet.
- We are working on a new simple guide for first-time fish-keepers to help them understand what they need to know when they set up their first tank.
- We are working with European pet trade organisations to raise awareness among politicians about why positive lists of pets (creating a prescribed list of animals that can be kept as pets) is not the solution. Education is the key, not bans.
- We have worked with ProPets, a coalition of key pet industry and membership organisations, to provide a strong united voice to promote responsible pet ownership, providing information to politicians on promoting pets in society.
- We respond to Government consultations on these types of issues, including the 2018 Animal Welfare (Sentience & Sentencing) Bill. You can read our response here.