Ornamental trade actions on IAS, new information from OATA

Ornamental trade actions on AIS, new information from OATA

INVASIVE SPECIES

As ever this subject has occupied a fair amount of our time. However as I hope you will agree from the information below we (the industry)are increasingly seen not just nationally but internationally as being less part of the problem and more as having and in many countries already playing a key role to play in public awareness raising and standard setting.

In November we co-operated with PIJAC (USA) and PIJAC Canada in hosting a side event at a Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting which was discussing the pet trade as route by which invasive species can be moved around the world. The side event was well received and hundreds of the brochure (see http://www.ornamentalfish.org/cbd-booklet.pdf ) were distributed.  The meeting seemed to accept what was being done by the trade as very positive. However it did call on the World Trade Organisation, CITES, the world Animal Health Organisation, the world standards setting body on plant pests and the like to see how there current controls could be interpreted or expanded to cover invasives moved by any pathway- including but not just pets. Increasingly diseases are being regarded as another type of invasives.

There is already evidence that this invitation is being taken up eg CITES will discuss the impact of the wildlife trade on disease transmission, the World Animal Health aquatic Animal commission has had a brain storming session on the issue and the World Trade Organisation will discuss how there global trade standards might be used or adapted to address the issue.

At the November meeting PIJAC (USA) launched a Pet Pathway Toolkit which it had developed at the request of the CBD. Its development was funded by DEFRA, the US government with contributions from four trade associations including OATA. It was very well received. You can review it at: http://www.petpathwaytoolkit.com/

In December a Code of Conduct on Invasive pets (authored by Keith Davenport and Jim Collins) was accepted by the Council of Europe. It was interesting to hear the views of some of the governments represented, for instance in a radio interview a Polish delegate said he regarded the pet industry as an important part to any solution.

Despite all this we still face dealing with a new EC Directive and potentially in the UK plants sales bans and a review of the species covered by the ILFA legislation.

However while it might seem we have the issues covered (for instance OATA is involved in processes up to World Trade Organisation level) it is vital we keep up activities such as promoting Be Plant Wise (https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/nonnativespecies/beplantwise/) so that we continue to viewed as "part of the solution". Also we should not forget that if governments in countries supplying us with livestock that is not native to that country takes a draconian view we may have problems with restricted supplies. So encourage your suppliers to be aware of the issue and take action themselves and establish a dialogue with their governments. Our work may ensure we are not metaphorically run over by the the steam roller of the invasive issue in the UK but is this true in countries supplying us?