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Are there any laws that will impact me as an Aquarist?
In simple terms; it depends on your intentions as an Aquarist, and if you reside in the UK how proposed legislation changes will impact law. If you are an Aquarist outside of the UK then this will depend on local laws that are in place.
The Animal Welfare Act was passed in the EU in 2006, introduced to Scotland in 2006, and to England and Wales in early 2007. This represented the most significant change in animal welfare laws in the UK since the Protection of Animals Act 1911. There has been current UK government initiatives, alongside organisations such as the FBAS (Federation of British Aquatics Society) and OATA (Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association), to ensure standards are kept to and improved upon for the welfare of all fish.
Fundamentally current law states that aquarists are legally obliged to follow the five basic needs when keeping fish;
the need for a suitable environment
the need for a suitable diet
the need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns (such as exercise)
the need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals
the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Further useful information and help on this act can be found in this document from the FBAS.
Other useful links to animal welfare groups:
OATA - Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association - www.ornamentalfish.org/
RSPCA - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - www.rspca.org.uk/
Cefas - Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science – http://www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/
Aquatic Animal Health & Movements (formerly Efish Business) – http://www.defra.gov.uk/aahm/
Cites - Animal Health – http://www.animalhealth.defra.gov.uk/cites/