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Re: P@H Strike again.

Subject: Re: P@H Strike again.
by longhairedgit on 3/5/2009 2:25:35

Well, the way I see it is that industry is often short sighted, and most directors and managers these days get bonuses based on immediate profit culture. Each new manager or director is expected to do better than the last, net result, his tenure may be short, so he looks for short term raised profits which is about expasion into new markets, minimising costs and getting a bit hush hush about humane considerations which typically raise short term costs.

The hardest thing to do in any company and especially those with high staff turnover levels and a mostly student and or low aspirational staff type (those who will often accdept low petcarers wages) is justifying the training budget, and putting off the first time buyer who is also low aspiratant. Companies don't really like on average to foster or devlop the maturity of their customer bases, they like to exploit existing ones or ones they can create off the back of a flyer and their whole financial plan usually hinges around short term profitability. The common trend in fishkeeping at the moment is underpriced, often only 200% of cost price fish supply, and big mark- ups on products, which creates financial instability unless humane considerations are allowed to become secondary. In short, product holds more value than livestock, ergo the livestock becomes cheap and expendable. The tanks, medicines and foods become horrendously expensive.

Changing that market to the reverse, improving stock quality and having quarantine facilities which are really the only way to do that. That costs in infrastructure and would make the fish much more expensive. Thats not a problem per se, because they would sell more product and better size aquaria cheaper and still make the margin, but what they wont do is equip shops well , bearing in mind for livestock rotation with QT you need as many tanks behind the store front as in front of it. It also means you have to employ someone who knows what they are doing, loosely speaking has a brain and a few o levels, and they demand higher wages.

Now you could roll that out in a year or two, but theres two problems. First people want cheap fish and dont realise they would make the savings back on the equipment and thusly will go to some hell hole to buy cheap fish from whatever asian import hellhole they appear from. Thusly the customer self sabotages their needs by buying diseased fish and keeping equipment costs high. Then the corporates that do restructure and make fish expensive and product cheap and improve standards have to invest more than they take in that year or two so the director (who these days is more a consultant than a director, and consequently more of a contractor than a director and isnt planning to be there long) isnt getting his bonuses, his third home in nice, and his new bmw m5 , he wont be happy. His successor will get the credit.

He therefore decides, "screw the fish I want that BMW". His board prefer this decision because they know people want cheap fish and werent too sure about the market strategy of changing the relative expense of stock or of hiring good staff when those profits will be wanted by a load of ever silent but perpetually greedy shareholders. Usually thats the public again.

Now to get away with this corporates being aware that from lists alone each store kills thousands of fish needlessly every year, and that animal rightists dont like that sort of thing, they have to create a publicity machine to escape criticism and not have to rock the boat and make that financial move into better infrastructure.

So they hire advertisers to write infomercials, muppets to pollute websites, they go to old and dried out fishkeepers who live in council estates with their tank of neon tetras, and successions of lousy practically out of work vets and offer them single large sums for product testimonials, and the rights to use their name in nperpetuity to advertise whatever crap of the moment they happen to be peddling. They get people into various organisations and these people announce themselves as independants. Nobody cares and nobody checks where the cheques are going and to whom.

Then we get minimum recommendations like 4 litres. Millions of fish die.Half the population doesnt know its a**e from its elbow on fishkeeping, and theres and argument every time someone suggests a reasonable size for a fishtank, and then every time someone complains to a company that their standards are s**t, which they quite obviously are, the company then says we abide by codes of conduct set out by so and so, an independant body, or at behest of "this vet" or this "professional" so, were in the clear, and you can sod off with your complaint. "We care we do, we have standards."

Sweet as a nut.

Yes in another life I was humphrey in yes minister.

Anyway, the solution to all this? Recommendations for long term reinvestment in corporate quarantine and training infrastructure or trading laws have to come in that remedy the corporates retiscence to act. Its the only way. At the same time as keeping the knee-jerk, ban everything brigades under control, so that fishkeepers interests are properly protected, and to turn fish purchasing around from being the abusive hell that it is. The profits can remain unaffected, as long as all traders comply and thats exactly why we need legislation to force conditions of housing sale, and quarantine on all traders of fish.

Also a database which I belive the foundations of which have started needs to be rolled out as the basis for animal housing rules, with individual species accounts and needs detailed should serve as the basis rules for all shops, and you shouldnt be allowed to trade without them, and this is to be acknowledged by real pros, not just an organisation such as OATA, which frankly, I believe can be influenced in direction more easily than a leaf in a typhoon.

This should be law and govt business. A petshop licence is way too loose in its remit, its long been part of the problem, and they need addressing too. I don't think anyone sane leaves animal welfare decisions to corporates, its a basic conflict of interest at a fundamental level. I refuse to believe its impossible to come up with good rules of conduct for all, and until those statutes are there and invuluntary the corporates wil continue, to frankly, take the p**s with the animals we love and will eventually own, and of course continue to sacrifice those nameless millions of fish in transport and in back rooms everywhere that never even get as far as the sales point, and further from that the millions more that will die of disease in the home because of bad advice, bad selling conditions and no QT.

The fact is, if youve bought fish this year in any number, you will probably lose either some of them, or some of your previously well acclimated specimens through contagion, or poor advice, or physical damage to the stock, primarily because of market forces and some greedy contractor wanting a BMW this year, and because people are easily corrupted, and the world of business stuck in a hell of expansionism and short term gain.

You happy with that?

If the answer is no, then you need something more than OATA, you need law on your side.The way pets are bought and sold, and imported in this country seriously needs looking at. The current codes of conduct are shallow, pathetic, riddled with loopsholes to be exploited and no-one has the power against the corporates to do anything. This is not an area in which we should be coercing people, nudging or urging, bargaining or influencing, we should give em a legal book of guidelines all prechecked sorted, up to date and logical, and say - here it is, F-O-A-D-I (office term meaning please go forth and do this,lol). or you don't trade in this country, end of story.

If they wont do it, then GOOD. More independant fish shopsrun by people who care and will do it. Good bloody riddance to those who won't.

Uber rant over.