January 2015

2015 The Year Ahead

2015 the Year ahead

2015 – What lays ahead for the reptile hobby?

This year is going to be a defining year, first and foremost we will see the publication of the list of species to be banned from private ownership under the Invasive Alien Species Regulations, although the List will not come into force until 2016 (probably latter) we will find out this year what species are going to be banned. This is a defining moment in history as never before has the UK banned the private ownership of any animal, this will be a very sad day. The number of species affected is likely to very small, nevertheless it will mark the beginning of another struggle as there will be the inevitably push from the ‘antis’ have more and more species added.

2014 saw more reptiles and amphibians kept in the UK than ever before also more pet shops licenced to sell reptiles than ever before and this growth is set to continue and 2015. Although business has been tough the industry is still growth, bucking the trend of many other sectors. Growth was strongest in the frozen food sector (rodents) with an increase of about 11% and livefoods by about 7%. Imports of reptile continue to decline and final figures will not be available until the end of March but it is set to be a record low. This has been the trend for a number of years and reflects the growth in captive breeding in the UK. 2015 will finally see the answer are reptile Breeders Meeting legal or not, this is a battle that has been raging for more than 20 years and will finally be answered this year by the High Court. Originally expected to have been addressed in the latter part of 2014, but the antis have been trying very hard to disrupt the process. Now the case is on the warning list so a date is expected shortly and it will be nice to have this issue out of the way once and for all.

Of course 2015 also sees the election of a new government, this is always an interesting time. What else is in store who knows, other the IAR Regs legislatively wise there is not much in England, but Scotland & Wales have muted about various issues but little detail and are unlikely to implement anything ahead of the election. Little is likely to happen in 2015, but 2016 could be an interesting/disconcerting year depending who gets elected, let’s hope the Greens don’t get anywhere?

As always the threats are likely to emanate from the EU, and the biggest danger outside of the aforementioned IAR Regs is the push for implementation of a Positive List. Keepers in Member States such as Belgium and the Netherlands are very much at the forefront of this insidious push by the antis to restrict and exterminate species from captivity – nothing positive about a Positive List..!!

A belated happy New Year to everyone and I hope it is a prosperous time for everyone, well not everyone… I hope the anti’s have a really, really crap year…!!

Chris Newman - Chairman

4th January 2015


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