Pets Canada Vancouver Trade ShowLater this week, Pets Canada will host their industry show in Vancouver, BC, for pet professionals and industry leaders to connect and learn about the latest products and trends. CCIS has been invited to speak at the show, discussing the links between the pet industry and invasive species. Pets Canada, Canada’s leading organization in pet advocacy, believes that animal and companion animal welfare is everyone’s business, and we at CCIS agree! We all have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of not just our furry or scaly friends but also the ecosystems and all other wildlife on which they may impact.

Register for the Pets Canada Industry Show here »

The pet and aquarium trade is one of the primary pathways through which invasive species are introduced into Canada’s environments. Exotic pets like the red-eared slider, goldfish and even European rabbits seem harmless when confined within the walls of our home. Still, if released into the wild, they can disrupt native ecosystems, spread disease, outcompete native species for resources, and cause economic damage. Well-meaning pet owners who release their pets into the wild either accidentally or intentionally, with the misguided belief they are ‘setting them free,’ are participating in the spread of invasive species.

During our industry show presentation, we will promote our Don’t Let it Loose and recognized retailer campaigns. Don’t Let it Loose educates pet owners that releasing an exotic pet into the wild harms the environment and the animal itself. It is even considered an act of animal cruelty in BC, which is a chargeable offence. The program also offers alternatives to release, including rehoming at a shelter or zoo, returning to the store where the animal was purchased, or, if all else fails, humanely euthanizing by a qualified veterinarian.

Don't Let It Loose Recognized Retailer badgeOur Recognized Retailer program seeks to build capacity, promote, and share resources with the professionals already encouraging responsible and sustainable pet ownership. This weekend is a perfect opportunity to connect with retailers that interact with pet owners daily and learn how to connect our programs with their customers better, adapt our messaging to be more effective, and identify novel pathways of spread within the industry. Regarding preventing the introduction of invasive species, it’s ‘all hands on deck,’ our goal is to spread a standard message among government, industry and the public, encouraging sustainable pet ownership. Learn more about our Don’t Let it Loose program at!

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The pet and aquarium recognized retailer program and it’s materials were developed with support from Pets Canada. Pets Canada offers guidance and resources to pet businesses and helps advance the well-being of Canada’s pets.


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