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OATA guidance for ecommerce pet stores that sell livestock …

OATA Guidance For Ecommerce Pet Stores That Sell Livestock ...

With growing concern about the selling and transportation of live tropical and marine fish to customers, the OATA (Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association) has produced new guidance.

The Guide to the responsible distance selling of livestock1, from the proclaimed voice of the ornamental fish industry aims to help ecommerce store owners to sell fish responsibly online.

Bricks and mortar shops are the best place

The OATA recognise that more people are buying live fish online and whilst it can open up the hobby to more remote customers, it s not a match for traditional high street shops.

We firmly believe that bricks and mortar shops are the best place for people to buy fish. By offering customers the opportunity to watch and enjoy the beauty of live fish swimming around, we believe shops help to inspire and captivate people to become the next generation of fish-keepers. We do not believe that online-only shops are able to do this in quite the same way.

OATA Chief Executive Keith Davenport

Improve fish welfare

Hoping to improve fish welfare, to raise awareness and standards among sellers and customers, key points within the guide include:

  • Sales information should comply with Pet Advertising Advisory Group standards2.
  • The seller can demonstrate they have satisfied themselves about the set-up into which the fish etc will be introduced and that it will not compromise the health of the fish.
  • Advice on the proper packing and shipping of live fish to ensure their welfare as they are transported.
  • Fish should never be sent through the Royal Mail and only approved couriers must be used.
  • A firm date and time for delivery must be in place for the customer to take delivery in person of the fish when it arrives.
  • Good after-care information should be included.

Questions to ask before buying fish online

The OATA also lists 6 essential questions to ask3 before purchasing online;

  1. Are you buying from a legitimate business?
  2. Does the seller have a Pet Shop Licence?
  3. Does the seller have the right paperwork to show what they re selling is legal?
  4. Has the seller made sure you know what you re doing with the fish you re buying?
  5. Is the seller using an approved courier to transport your fish with a firm delivery arrangement?
  6. Are they following OATA s Guide To The Responsible Distance Selling of Livestock?

About the author / Andrew Taylor

A senior UI designer with over 16 years of web design and web development experience working for some of the largest companies in the UK.

An expert in all things Magento and WordPress.


  1. ^ Guide to the responsible distance selling of livestock (www.ornamentalfish.org)
  2. ^ Pet Advertising Advisory Group standards (paag.org.uk)
  3. ^ 6 essential questions to ask (www.ornamentalfish.org)

Excerpt from: OATA guidance for ecommerce pet stores that sell livestock …

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