Welcome to this month’s Practical Reptile Keeping.
It is now only a few weeks until the elections for the European Parliament, with the UK voting on 22nd May. In all honesty, I would guess that this probably isn’t a date encircled in your diary, unless you’re something of political diehard. Barely one in three of us who are entitled to vote make it to the polls to elect our Euro MPs, which is considerably below the European average.
“So what?” you may say. “It doesn’t make any difference to me, and I’ve got other, more significant things in my life, like reptile keeping.” Unfortunately though, that may not be the case, if the Eurogroup for Animals has its way. This powerful Brussels-based organisation is currently seeking to persuade prospective Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to sign up to a series of pledges.
Keith Davenport, of the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) and Chris Newman of REPTA are warning that keeping reptiles, amphibians and fish, plus all other types of pets (apart from cats and dogs) could be under threat if Eurogroup is successful in its #votes4animals lobbying campaign in the run-up to the European elections.
OATA – which is lobbying MEPs to make sure they hear the other side of the argument – is calling on people power to help to stand up for pet keeping. They are urging everyone with pets that fall within Eurogroup’s definition to support OATA’s #handsoffmyhobby campaign.
“We think it’s time that the more representative views of the millions of people who enjoy keeping reptiles, fish, amphibians, birds and other pets right across Europe should also be brought to the attention of prospective MEPs,” explains Keith.
Please, get involved and help to build the case. We’ve listed what you can do here.
David is an acknowledged expert with more than 40 years of experience in this area. He has written and broadcast extensively about the care and biology of these creatures, and also speaks regularly to various herpetological groups..