Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Pet trade associations write open letter on calls to ban wildlife trade
Pet trade associations have backed a call for governments to rely on evidence-based solutions to prevent the spread of disease.

Signatories say a blanket ban would have a 'significant negative impact' on responsible animal-keepers.
Representatives from 13 global pet trade associations have signed an open letter calling on international governing bodies to resist calls for a complete ban on the trade of live animals.

The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) and Ornamental Fish International (OFA) are among those who have backed a call for governments and NGOs to rely on sound science and evidence-based solutions to prevent the spread of disease.

'Indiscriminate and broad-ranging bans would have a significant negative impact on the responsible pet and animal-keeping communities,' the letter says.

'For centuries, we have shared our lives with a wide variety of species, from dogs and cats to goldfish and geckos. Live animals for the pet trade have moved between countries successfully for decades under a heavily regulated and continuously evaluated system that protects both human and animal health.;

It continues: 'Like many, we want to end the unsustainable use and illegal trafficking of wildlife. Unsustainable and illegal practices that are harmful to biodiversity taint and demonise the reputation of those who work sustainably and legitimately.

'We support the development of stronger policies and increased enforcement action across the world to tackle these issues. But these key challenges are being marginalised by these unrealistic calls for blanket bans.'

Earlier this month, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that governments must “rigorously enforce bans on the sale and trade of wildlife for food” to prevent the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.

His words were echoed by international animal welfare charity Born Free, which urged the WHO to work alongside governments to ban wildlife markets and bring an end to the commercial wildlife trade.

But signatories of the letter argue the calls have been made without consideration of the potential consequences.

OATA’s chief executive Dominic Whitmee said: “We are seeing a growing number of indiscriminate calls from a wide range of NGOs and celebrities who are calling for a ban on wildlife trade, with no heed for what this would actually mean.

“We feel many of the anti-trade NGOs are using the cloak of this undoubtedly concerning and worrying pandemic to further their own political agendas, pursuing this call to stop trade without considering the varied nature of the trade and the consequences of any ban for many of the poorest people on this planet.”

OFI president Shane Willis added: "There should be scientific evidence to support regulation of wildlife trade, particularly where livelihoods in vulnerable communities and developing countries are involved.

"There is clear evidence that sustainable trade in ornamental fish can provide sustainable livelihoods and these should not be taken away from people through knee-jerk reactions or political agenda to see the ban on the exploitation of all animals and animal products.”

The letter can be read in full here.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Do you know a practice wellbeing star?

News Story 1
 Has someone in your practice team gone above and beyond to make your workplace a positive one during the coronavirus pandemic? Then why not nominate them for a 2020 Practice Wellbeing Star!

The joint RCVS Mind Matters Initiative/SPVS Practice Wellbeing Star nominations recognise individuals who have held up morale during a time when practices are facing unprecedented staffing and financial issues.

Nominees receive a certificate in recognition of their colleagues' appreciation of their achievements and will be entered into the prize draw for a pair of tickets to attend the joint SPVS and Veterinary Management Group Congress in January 2021.


Click here for more...
News Shorts
WellVet reopens ticket sales to online conference platform

Following the success of its online conference, the organisers behind WellVet Weekend have re-opened ticket sales to allow new delegates to access session recordings and its online networking platform.

The day-long conference saw more than 360 veterinary professionals mix activity sessions with personal development CPD, all hosted within a virtual conference platform. Now, with more than 500 minutes of CPD available, the resource is being re-opened to allow full access to the session recordings until May 2021.

Sessions are aimed at providing delegates with a range of proactive wellbeing tools to explore to find ways of improving their mental and physical health. Tickets are limited in number and on sale at until 30th August 2020.