Are you a Pet Trader?
The import of animals and plant species across international frontiers and within countries between animal farmers, collectors, wholesalers and retailers is essential for the pet and ornamental industry.
However, some organisms can become invasive and may also carry viruses, bacteria and other organisms such as fungi, nematodes and crustacea.
Many ornamental fish are kept in closed systems and so problems are contained and pose negligible risks outside of those systems. When species are not kept in closed systems, escape or are deliberately released they can become invasive, impacting on native species and our environment. Pet traders have a key role to play in the preventing the spread of invasive species, diseases and parasites.
Check: Ensure that consignments do not contain hitchhikers which may be invasive. This includes parasites and pathogens.
Ensure Good husbandry: Reduce animal stress and minimise susceptibility of the animals to pathogens and parasites.
Biosecurity: Ensure that animals, pathogens or parasites cannot escape from your facility or during transport. Ensure that all consignments are clearly labelled.
Care Sheets: Ensure that all customers whether they be potential or current are provided with relevant care sheets pertaining to their pet so as they can determine the suitability of the pet and ensure the pet is kept healthy and adequately/ securely housed.
Codes of Practice: Ensure that customers know how to best care for their pet in order to minimise the risks of exotic animals being abandoned or escaping.
Education: Educate customers about the implications for the environment, the economy and human/animal/plant health of the release of exotic animals. Educate customers on alternatives to abandoning pets should a situation arise where this is necessary.
Industry Education: Promote awareness of the risk of invasive species within the pet trade.