I have noticed some apple snail sellers on Ebay urging people to buy now because they are banned. This is not strictly true. I can only assume that they have been misled by someone or not understood what the ban is about. This article was written for 'Pet business world' a trade publication. The ban involved IMPORTED apple snails and not selling, breeding or keeping them. People can breed, keep, buy and sell their apple snails perfectly legally. However nobody is allowed to import apple snails.So before you believe the sensational listings telling you to buy now before they get banned, and urge people to pay ridiculous amounts, find out the truth for yourself.
Written by Sanda Pearce.
Despite vigorous lobbying by OATA, as of the end of November, it is illegal for aquatic retailers, wholesalers, importers or hobbyists to bring in Apple snails, Pomacea spp., to the UK.
Retail sales throughout the UK are estimated to be in the region of £300,000 each year.
The ban was imposed because Apple snails have been found in the rice paddies of the Ebro delta in Spain, yet it is not clear if these are permanent or ephemeral populations.
An OATA spokesman said the ban also means that all plants exported to the EU will have to be inspected and certified free of Apple snails, and accordingly subject to inspection upon arrival. The ban also means movements of plants from infested areas will be restricted.
However, he said the ban ‘could have been much worse’. “The original proposal was that plants would have to come from Apple snail-free areas. As Apple snails are found widely in the Far East, this might have posed problems.”
The spokesman added: “This move demonstrates the dangers of the EC adopting a ‘one size fits all’ rules on invasives. Because Apple snails were found in Spain, they have subsequently been banned from the whole of EU. We will continue to monitor developments within the EU Invasives Directive.”
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18 January 2013
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