Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort
- AmericanHort was launched in January 2014 to represent every section of the horticulture industry.
- People in the industry see themselves as environmental stewards; Right Plant, Right Place.
- There has been a major contraction in the horticulture industry since the recession, which has impacted the ability to handle issues like aquatic invasive species.
- It all boils down to risk management: prevention, monitoring, diagnosing and treating at appropriate control points.
Marshal Meyers, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
- Invasive species are a global issue, tied to a global economy.
- The pet industry handles more non-native animal species than any other industry.
- There are shortcomings to the Lacey Act in controlling invasive species; the Internet trade is an issue.
- FWS has developed an ecological risk screening tool, which takes into account multiple layers of scientific data to rapidly evaluate the potential invasiveness of a non-native species.
- PIJAC and partners have developed outreach and education campaigns, like Habitattitude, that can help make consumers aware of ways they can be responsible pet owners.
Joe Olenik, Hoffer’s Tropic Life Pets
- Aquarium keeping has become less of an elite hobby and more of a leisure activity with lower commitment than in the past.
- People release pets for a variety of reasons, such as mistakenly thinking the animal will be better off (“Free Willy syndrome”).
- Stores have a responsibility to educate consumers, avoid problematic species and support/partner with outside organizations to aid in education and prevention of invasive species.
- Not knowing the laws and regulations is not an excuse; a collaborative approach with regulators is refreshing and helpful.