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 Future Reptile Keeping in the UK - Please Read

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PostSubject: Future Reptile Keeping in the UK - Please Read   Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:43 am

I have also attached a document produced by the Federation of British Herpetologists regarding the current EU parliament consultation on the impending Non Native Invasive Species legislation. As you may be aware from recent press coverage, the European parliament is currently looking at the issue of Non Native Invasive Species (NNIS), sometimes called Invasive Alien Species (IAS). They are considering the way that NNIS are identified and controlled within the whole of the European Union, which of course includes the UK.

While everybody agrees that invasive species can be an issue, the way that they are identified and controlled could have a major impact on your business, hobby and your right to keep a pet reptile. Why? Well the method of classification could work in two different ways. If the EU legislation relies on a “White List”, that is a list of permitted species, then the default position would be for most species to not be on it. This means that when the legislation is introduced it will immediately become unlawful to trade in any species not on the permitted list, ie, corn snakes. In addition the legislation may also provide for the authorities to come and forcibly remove restricted animals from keepers that have been kept perfectly legally for many years!

The second option would be a list of restricted species, ie a “black list”. This means that species would be placed on the restricted list only after it has been shown to be a potential invasive species by scientific investigation.
It is quite clear that some species, and this legislation is designed to cover all organisms from bacteria to plants, reptiles and mammals, are invasive and can cause local damage to ecosystems. Legislation is clearly needed to control these. However, this legislation must be proportional, based on scientific data and respectful of pet keepers.

Currently the European parliament is carrying out an on-line consultation to gather the views of keepers and it is essential that keepers register their opinions. The more responses they receive the more chance we have of getting legislation that is fair to keepers as well as protecting the European ecosystems from invasive species. It is especially important to get feedback from mainland Europe, so if you know keepers, or are in, France, Spain, Belguim, Holland, Germany, etc. then please pass this information on to as many people as possible.

The Federation of British Herpetologists (FBH) has produced a document which gives some background information to the consultation and an explanation of the on line consultation. It also explains the FBH position and why this is the case. You can download the document from the FBH web site ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or from our web site ( Please read the documents before responding to the consultation. You can also see more information on the European Parliament web site or respond directly to the consultation at
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Please take the time to read these documents and log onto the website and make your views knows. Please also make this document available to your customers so that they too can respond. We only have until the 12th of April to make our views know,

Federation of British Herpetologists

Invasive Alien Species: Online public consultation on control measures for the European Union

The European Union is currently carrying out a public consultation on the way it should control potentially invasive alien species (IAS) across the whole of the EU. This is your opportunity to make your views known to the politicians who will be making decisions that could affect the future of reptile keeping across the EU, including the UK.

What is an Invasive Alien Species (IAS)?

Any species (animals and plants, but also bacteria and other organisms) which is transported to an area which is not within its normal geographical range is a potential IAS. To be an IAS, however, the species needs to be released into the new location, be able to survive in the new area if released and then be able to reproduce and spread.

Why is this important?

An animal released into an area to which it is not native may cause no ill effect at all. It may not survive at all and even if it does it could have no effect on the local ecosystem. Some species can, however, cause ecological or economic damage which can affect native species or cost governments many millions of pounds to tackle.

How does this affect my hobby?

Reptile keeping (and many other hobbies, such as gardening) involve keeping species that are not native to the EU, such as corn snakes from the USA, bearded dragons from Australia or leopard geckos from Pakistan. Such species are considered to be potential IAS and so will be covered by any legislation introduced by the EU. If this legislation is fair and appropriate then it should be supported, but if it is constructed badly then it could lead to controls on species that are not proven to be harmful and which are kept in huge numbers. This could directly affect your right to pursue your currently legal hobby of reptile keeping.

But some species may cause harm, so these should surely be controlled?

Absolutely! There are some species that have the potential to cause harm and so are true IAS. These should be scientifically assessed in a proper way and controlled in an appropriate way which protects the environment whilst not affecting species that are not proved to be harmful. Responsible keepers must support balanced and appropriate legislation while resisting inappropriate laws.

How do I make my views known?

The public consultation is being carried out on-line and can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] You should go to the website and fill out the online survey to make your views known. You should also let other keepers know, both in the UK and particularly anyone you know in other European countries, so that they can make their views known. The FBH have an official position on the most appropriate answers, which are outlined below. You should, however, answer the questions in the manner that you personally feel is most appropriate.

This is a long detailed document but its importance cannot be over emphasised. Please take the time to read it and to register your opinions on the European commission website;

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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PostSubject: Re: Future Reptile Keeping in the UK - Please Read   Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:36 pm

Bump for this - affects all reptile keepers in the uk
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