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Defra minister visits Pets at Home

A Defra minister visited Pets at Home’s New Malden store to learn more about the National Invasive Species Week.

Lord Gardiner, who is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visited the pet superstore to see what the industry is doing to promote the ‘no release’ message to customers.

New Malden is one of only a handful of Pets at Home stores to sell chickens and staff explained the advice it gave during the recent avian flu restrictions.

“We are very pleased that Lord Gardiner chose to visit one of our members during this important awareness raising week to see how the industry plays its part in educating customers about not releasing non-native flora and fauna,” said OATA Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee.

“We believe our industry does take its responsibilities seriously about the need to tell customers about composting pond and aquarium plants carefully and not to release fish, or other non-native animals, into the wild.”

In the run up to National Invasive Species Week OATA also distributed new stickers, provided by Defra, to its retail members to use on aquatic plant display tanks. The stickers reminded customers that they should not dispose of pond and aquarium plants in the wild. OATA also asked retailers to chat to all customers about composting carefully when they sell pond plants during pond season.

National Invasive Species Week runs from Monday March 27 to Sunday April 2. More information can be found at

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