In the light of a recent legal ruling regarding sales of animals at Pet Fairs, there has been much to worry about in respect of sales of fish at Open Shows and Society Auctions.

The following announcement from DEFRA appears to have alleviated such worries, although one section of fishkeeping sales will require licensing.


New measures to stop the commercial sale of animals at pet fairs will be introduced under the Animal Welfare Bill, Defra announced today (10th October 2006).

Following a judicial ruling on pet fairs, the Government has decided to review its plans to regulate these events.

While commercial sales of animals will be banned, there will be exemptions in the cases of koi carp, racing pigeons and poultry. These will need to be licensed by the local authority.

As before, pet fairs that do not involve the sale of animals, or that do involve the sale of animals but not in the course of a business, can continue without the need for a licence.

Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Animal Health and Welfare, said: I believe that the revised measures on pet fairs, together with our proposals to raise the standards of pet vending generally and the introduction of the welfare offence for companion animals, provide the best protection yet for animals at pet fairs.

The new proposals on pet fairs will be issued for full consultation before they go before Parliament.

FBAS comment

It seems that disposal of surplus home-bred stock by sale or auction at Society events will not now require licensing. This should therefore nullify the risks of any likely crippling rises in costs of running an Open Show, which would undoubtedly have led to a further decline in the organised hobby.

We are grateful to all those who supported our battle in this respect by writing to their MPs and making known their concerns for the implications for the future of the hobby at Society level.

Last updated October 10th, 2006