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IMPORTANT : Invasive Non-native Species Policy Discussions within the European Union

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by PawsForThought, Apr 15, 2011.


  1. PawsForThought

    PawsForThought PetForums Newbie

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    We recently recieved information that the EU is discussing the prohibition of many species that are currently kept as pets.

    Below is a letter from Chris Newman of the Federation of British Herpetologists.


    I've personally been a reptile keeper for over 15 years, so this is of great concern to me, though this will certainly apply to many more species of pet. For example, in parts of southern Britain there have been known to be wild hamster colonies. If there is a blanket ban across the EU, then species that could survive in Greece or Spain, would also be banned in the UK even if that species wouldn't survive in our climate.

    Portugal has already published a potential "blacklist" which at the moment includes the common brown rat, the common goldfish, and terrapins.

    The next meeting with UK government is on the 15th of April, and the final meeting of the EU Commission preventions working group is 31st of May. A meeting in Germany with various pro keeping groups will be taking place on the 4th of June. By mid June we will have a better understanding of the direction being proposed by the Commission, and the meeting with other vested interest groups will have taken place.

    The legislation will certainly come into effect.

    The question is how restrictive it will be.
     
  2. poohdog

    poohdog PetForums VIP

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    Legislation is in place in Australia and America with regard to certain bird species..on the whole the State by State laws are based on common sense.

    But knowing the EEC idiots and their bent banana and cucumber legislation I don't expect anything intelligent out of their overpaid brains.
     
  3. Argent

    Argent PetForums VIP

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    Oh HELL no, they are not banning rats here :mad: (Fancies are descended from the common brown rat, hence my anger, if fancies are fine, then LOL my bad :D)
     
  4. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Im really hoping that this is still in the talking stages and they will be sensible enough to do this country by country not across the whole EU.:(
    I am looking to get some reptiles soon and wold hate to think I had missed my chance. Besides if you have only one list then surely everything except dogs, cats and rabbits would be banned??:confused:
     
  5. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    i think you're over-reacting a tad,

    legislation should be tougher, there are too many people getting 'exotic' pets that don't know how to keep them, or know the time involved and then abandon them or flush them down the loo etc.

    tougher legislatin is needed to ensure that any potential exotic owners will have proper set ups, know the proper care, and have adequate vet care in place BEFORE the pet arrives.

    this policy is EXTREMELY important to all imported (and uk bred exotics) pets as there are far too many imporant natural species being wiped out or put in danger by idiots who really don't know what they are doing and even some that do.

    it is not only the pets but their food etc that can be aproblem.. especially the veg eaters. chucked out 'exotic' veg can be extremely harmful to local flora (for example, http://www.plantlife.org.uk/uploads/documents/Invasive_plants_to_avoid.pdf, not necessarily introduced by pet keepers but it should give a good idea of a very small mount of what we are ALREADY dealing with, ON TOP of animal based introductions).

    it's a simple matter of lowering cruelty if you look at it properly, would you rather people were potentially vetted before getting a pet to ensure they had everything set up and were knowledgable about a pet, or would you like the rescues and animal charities to continue to have to turn animals away, put good animals down because idiots get a pet then find they're not up to the task, or they are sexed wrongly and have a male female and resultant babies?
    Would you like the poor exotics to come to the UK having been flown in substandard conditions just to feed the demand of the unknowning public?

    As the full report isn't out yet, i'd hold judgement, but i see it as a good thing.
     
  6. PawsForThought

    PawsForThought PetForums Newbie

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    That isn't what the legislation is about at all... it is about invasive species that could possibly reporduce in the wild and damage the local ecosystem.

    Absolutely nothing to do with animal welfare which is an enitrely seperate issue.

    Besides, according to RSPCA figures, dogs are 25 times more likely to need rehoming than snakes or lizards, so the fact they are exotics doesn't mean they are more likely to be abused. The opposite in fact.
     
  7. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    actually it's all interrelated.

    trust me, we covered this in marine bio. we had to read the whole convention and write a report on it.

    http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/hcd/CAULERPA.htm

    introduced world wide by fish keepers.
     
  8. PawsForThought

    PawsForThought PetForums Newbie

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    that's fair enough, but one of the main problems with this legislation is that it may include a blanket ban across europe, so that species that can survive in southern parts of euorpe's climate will also be banned here.

    Do you have any pets that could potentially survive in the wild somewhere in Europe?
     
  9. Happy Paws2

    Happy Paws2 PetForums VIP

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    That was the British press been stupid, nothing to do with the EU
     
  10. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    i have cats and had rats, a dog and g-pigs, we also have a marine tank with non-indignous EVERYTHING, so yes.

    on of my mates is an exotic dangerous (as in deadly) animal keeper (frogs, reptiles, arachnids etc) he would be affected too, as not only are the animals he keeps not indigenous to britain, neither is some of the food he feeds them.

    Lots of people have the potential to be affected, but in the grand scheme of things better control is a good thing, it will halt the shipping of TONS of animals in substandard conditions 50%+ of which will die in transit, not to mention the damage done to the areas they were taken from (ecologically speaking) the damage they can do if released in britain.

    just look at oz for an example. CATS aren't liked over there because they kill the local birds.. cats aren't indigenous, neither are rabbits they cause thousands of pounds of damage.

    britain isn't that different. Ships bring in contaminated bilge (marine flora and fauna) that wreak havoc on our shores.

    animals brought in for hunting also can cause a problem
    Trees for Life - Non-native Species in the Caledonian Forest

    it's nto just the animals effects on other animals but also the whole ecology of britain and the other EU states. Some species from america/japan/oz etc etc could cause untold damage to the natural ecology of the EU.

    it is only fair that we introduce tougher laws to make sure that WE don't introduce animals and plants and make our well love species extinct. As part of the EU and as we are linked by the chunnel (if rats can get through how hard would it be for other invasive species to get in?) it is a EU wide directive that should not only help with policing it but also with ensuring it is easy to understand for all (not just those enforcing it) make applications harder but ultimately far more beneficial for the species being requested.

    afterall how much easier has the petpassport made taking pets on holiday in the EU and worldwide? why should exotic animal keepers suffer more paperwork and long waiting times to travel with their pets than anyone else, when a blanket legislation will make all the paperwork the same, make the movement issues the same etc etc etc.

    exotic pets add to the problems we already have of invasive species, there is legislation for bilge/craft, commercial and public (museums/aquariums) introducing, why should the public not have a version of that legislation too?

    afterall. WE should be held accountable for the damage we cause to our own shores, as well as those we are linked to.
     
  11. PawsForThought

    PawsForThought PetForums Newbie

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    I'm curious where you get those figures from. According to HM Revenue and Customs 17,194 reptiles were imported into the UK in 2009 of which 9,800 were captive bred and 7,394 wild caught, and out of all of those only 0.5% died in transit.

    I agree legislation is needed. There is already alot in place with the European Protected Species Act. Australia is a perfect example of what damage invasive species can do.

    But as said the problem will be species being banned which would not be invasive species to this country.
     
  12. poohdog

    poohdog PetForums VIP

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    I take it all back then MEPs and their minions are the most wonderful people on the planet... I'm sure Neil Kinnock and his missus are well worth their £180,000 a year pension ...and when I can think of why they are worth it I'll let you know.
     
  13. rona

    rona Guest

    I think it's about time this was tightened up, but like with most things the EU decides, bet it's not thought out at all :(
     
  14. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    The problem is you can't tell if a species will survive or not, remember not all of the UK has the same weather patterns and ecological conditions.

    Like the rest of europe they can change dramatically, the sheer difference shetland and jersey for instance is obvious shetland is like scandanvia, jersey is positively mediteranean, but the changes are also noticable county to county too. So technically invasive species will change per country but there is the fear that some are so dangerous and invasive that if they were to get a foot hold it could be disasterous not just to the initial country it invaded but to those linked to it, to any that it supplies (spiders in bananas, algae/crustacea in bilge and side of ships, what could come in on our cargo lorries from the EU or the trains or via the chunnel?)

    once a species has invaded and flourished that's it.. getting rid of it is costly time consuming and in most cases completely futile, there are 91 species (known) alone:

    Home Page - Introduced species in the UK

    Pharoahs ant for instance.. from egypt/south america (alledgedly) lives here.. not exactly similar ecology/climate.

    I'm talking fish, 50%+ for substandard carriers, not good ones. even good ones for fish can be quite abysmal.
    My mate for instance is looking to import a shark for his new tank (at his house), it is expensive and it's got a 50/50 change of surviving. that's one fish in optimum standard of care for the full time it's being transported. most shop fish don't have that.

    but tbh that's an aside, as it's illegal traffiking where the standards will be much lower, which is where this legislation will come into it's own will stand out. with an EU directive instead of a country by country directive the blanket ban will be, as i mentioned before, easy to police. one country banning something is useless if it sits right next door to one that doesn't.

    while most of the eu is connect to non eu countries, if the ban is blanket they've a much higher chance of stopping the spread or catching the infestation in it's infancy. with continuning relations with china/russia etc get better the legislation could be worldwide eventually, (not a blanket ban but more cooperation on stopping things leaving so that there isnt' a problem with them arriving in the first place (oz, us and uK customs have to stop things coming in when the countries the things are leaving should have stopped them goingout, they don't because it's not 'the departing countries problem'). If we're all singing from the same hymm sheet we're more likely to get a handle on the problems.

    if a few more people don't get to keep gekkos then so be it. i'm sure the wild gekko populations will be licking their eyes in joy.

    it's not just the pets invading that are being tackled here either, again its' the food also for some case but there is also DISEASE.

    distemper, rabies among others are far more likely to come in to britain if species it can jump to that AREN'T normally in our ecology are allowed to invade.

    policing the pet trade can be a massive help in identifying illegals in the country.
     
  15. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    Im all for a ban on wild caught exotic pets. Most dont make good pets and are parasite ridden.:( However I dont see why it is fair to ban someone in Scotland, for instance, from keeping a Python that might survive in Malta.:confused:
    How does this affect the wildlife population of a country that the animal couldnt thrive in anyways??:confused:
     
  16. PawsForThought

    PawsForThought PetForums Newbie

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    you make fair points, though i had to reply to this bit ;)

    if it wasn't for the reptiles kept in captivity, then many species would be extinct. Among those would be the Crested Gecko, which was thought to be extinct for over a hundred years until it was recently rediscovered. A few pairs were taken from the wild, and they are now the most widely bred species of gecko in captivity.

    however, they are now almost extinct in the wild due to habitat destruction.

    I can give you many more examples like this. The reptile keeping hobby has done far more good for the preservation of species than harm.

    And yes, invasive species are part of the promblem. In New Caledonia the introduced fire ants are part of the reason for the crested geckos predicament.
     
  17. owieprone

    owieprone PetForums VIP

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    I don't think you're getting the whole picture here.

    the decision hasn't been made yet, they have to fight it out, it will include species that are extremely dangerous to indigenous animals/plants that are normally found in probably most eu countries. things that would predate or compete and wipe out the populations, or affect something in such a way that it would be so destructive even we would feel the brunt.

    the list will include anything that is dangerous to local flora/fauna/humans
    so say crocs in jersey or some such, where they could possibly survive in the temperatures there and eat folks dogs and small unsupervised brats.

    it will most likely be innocuous things that only dedicated nutters (like my mate) would be interested in, afterall why have an ant colony from out your back yard when you could have a flesh eating one called a pharaoh ant?

    it is unlikely to include gekkos, fancy rats, hamsters etc as they are already too prolific in captivity and genearlly don't survive out of captivity due to being 'non-wild' and abit stupid from it. they are also not generally a nuiscence to indigenous anythings.

    fair point paws but:
    they aren't talking about zoos and other specialist keepers (ones that keep things for zoos or conservation science) as they are conservation keepers not PET keepers. there is a difference. the legislation/licences and other paper for this may increase or be introduced to compensate for the new 'ban' of specific animals and any losses would be quickly reported etc.

    apart from that though, the species that are losing their habitats should be protected in the first place by the countires that are doing the damage, this is nothing to do with this possible legislation. again conservation and pet keepign is something else entirely. and a possible ban on certain species from endangered areas may bring about better legislatin elsewhere, you never know, afterall ASSI/AMSI's and MPAs came from something similar.

    it's not really about being a kill joy, its about keeping our indigenous species as safe as possible and not given over to the thousands of exotic species held in ESSEX alone
    channel 5 essex jungle - Reptile Forums

    just 2 of one of these of one type of animal is all it takes to start a colony/invasion/thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to fix. and as we are seemlingly getting warmer and getting more and more exotic visiting creatures every year, it's not that difficult to see how many of the dangerous invaders could live long enough to do lots of damage.

    it might be annoying if one day you can't get a monitor for love nor money, but in view of the potential risk they pose to native species (nesting birds, aren't cats bad enough?), your fish in your fish pond, while a relatively benign lizard to have floating about in britain, image the damage it could do to near extinct species across the water where said owner decides he's going to retire to with his lizard without declaring it? or that last colony of ptarmigans on isle of lismore, where said owner has taken up residence with said lizard during the summer where it is warm enough to keep a lizard quite active!

    i postulate of course, but you see my point, not all endangered species are the entire population, they are often a colony in an isolated spot that is nothing like the rest of the worlds/countries population could be endangered by something as cute and fluffy as a foreign hissing cockroach. the only colony of flowers that lives in a pond in someones back garden is the only one of that speices that does that in history.. eaten by someones imported camel.. daft yes but humans and crested newts, gekkos, lions, tigers, white rhinos, dodos....why not flowers and camels?

    While i don't particularly like the EU and it's affiliated monkey-brained 'lords and ladies' sometimes we have to realise that we don't own the planet and have no right to 'own' a potentially dangerous animal, just cos we don't want a boring hamster.
     
  18. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

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    I think alot of the problem comes from people not trusting the EU to make a sensible decision!!:D I do agree with the idea of preventing people keeping species that would breed in the wild and destroy native ecosystems however its a question of wether you trust the EU to get it right!!:rolleyes:
    Im a big fan of exotic species (just wish I had the confidence to keep some!!:eek:). Esp when you consider how much it has helped the survival of certain species (even whole groups such as amphibians). Although I dont get the appeal of DWA or very bitey things..:)
     
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