We have disturbing news that we are compelled to share with our customers in the pet loving nation of Scotland. The Scottish Government have announced that Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, has committed to a review of the trade and importation of exotic animals for the pet trade in Scotland after discussions with the “animals rights group” OneKind. However prior to this announcement there has been no consultation with the pet trade or pet owners.

The definition of “exotic” means anything not native to this country, whether captive bred or not. This could ultimately lead to almost every species of aquarium and pond fish as well as invertebrates being outlawed if poorly thought out and unnecessary sweeping regulation is brought in on the back of the extensive lobbying of several animal rights groups, who let’s be clear would ultimately like to end all pet ownership. Realistically they’ll never manage to banish dogs or cats, despite the greater dangers they can pose to humans and the environment than the humble Neon Tetra or Guppy. However, viewing “exotic” species as an easy target is an attempt to restrict the keeping of all pets.

Let’s remind them that nearly 1 in 10 households have an aquarium and that we are all committed fishkeepers who are proud of our hobby and our commitment to providing for the needs of our animals – whether exotic or native, with fur or fins!

Check out the following worrying quotes:

We believe that it would have been in the animals’ best interests if the institution of “pet keeping”—i.e., breeding animals to be kept and regarded as “pets”—never existed. – PETA

The legislation should facilitate a reduction in the numbers & types of non-domesticated birds, mammals, fish & reptiles in private keeping. – ONEKIND

We don’t need MORE regulation, we need better enforcement of the existing regulations. The licensed pet trade is already actively promoting the highest levels of animal welfare and sustainability and is heavily regulated, as pointed out by the Scottish government themselves:

The sale of animals as pets, including over the Internet where holding premises are within the UK, is currently covered by the Pet Animals Act 1951. The husbandry of certain exotic animals considered to be dangerous is covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, while the transport of all animals for commercial purposes, including pets, is covered by the Welfare of Animals Transport (Scotland) Regulations 2006, which implements EU requirements. The welfare of all protected animals, including exotic pets, is provided for under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Abandonment of any protected animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

What can you do to help?

  • Sign the petition at Change.org AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
  • Visit the dedicated #handsoffmyhobby campaign website for further educate yourself on this very important and pressing matter – www.handsoffmyhobby.org
  • Write to your local MSP and Richard Lochhead who is the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. You can find their contact details on the Scottish Government website including postal and email addresses. Contact them for free via www.writetothem.com. You could also contact them directly via their social media accounts! Remember – they want your votes too.

What are Fishkeeper Scotland going to do?

  • We are going to heavily promote the #handsoffmyhobby campaign in conjunction with OATA who along with its members give fish welfare the highest priority.
  • We will be inviting MSP’s to visit our stores along with other licensed pet shops and for them open a constructive dialogue with both the pet trade and responsible pet owners.
  • We will be posting a series of articles to show the largely undocumented positive impact that the fishkeeping hobby has on animals in both the wild and captivity, as well as the communities around the world that are involved in their care.

Remember when you leave this page do three things!

Sign the petition here, educate yourself here & write to your MSP and Richard Lochhead MSP here!


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