APA: On the wild side
Animal Welfare Species Survival Environmental Impact Commercial Activity Health Threats Controls and Chaos

Welcome to APA

The Animal Protection Agency (APA) is the UK organisation committed to ceasing the trade in wildlife for pets. Perhaps unbelievably, it is still legal in Britain to sell wild animals captured from other countries. The majority of wild-trapped animals die from the stress and disease that is associated with every stage of their harrowing journey. Next to habitat destruction, collection of animals for the pet trade is the main reason for the decline in many species. Attempts to regulate and control the trade have globally failed. The problem is getting worse, and time is running out! This site contains information on who we are, our current campaigns and how you can help us..

Latest News

Campaign success! Doncaster reptile market bites the dust!

The last remaining reptile market in the UK will take place for the final time on 19 June 2022. The end of this notorious event, which was one of the largest in Europe, is a historic breakthrough in ending illegal market trading of exotic animals. Read our press release.

We call for an urgent shake-up of how governments consult on animal welfare and conservation

APA calls on UK governments to follow the guidance set out in a new scientific study and to prioritise information firstly from independent scientists, secondly from animal welfare, conservation and environmental organisations and lastly from those involved in trading and keeping exotic animals. Read our press release.

Let’s get it straight – snakes need to stretch!

new scientific review by leading experts has found overwhelming evidence to show that enclosure sizes for snakes should permit them to stretch fully in all directions. The study found that guidance that captive snakes do not need to fully stretch was based on obsolete and rule of thumb ideas. Read our press release.

New report warns that UK could become next Wuhan – yet Doncaster reptile market is set to go ahead!

APA has called on the government to halt all wild animal markets in order to protect animal welfare and safeguard public health. A new scientific report concludes that animal suffering at wild animal markets is inevitable and biosecurity is unachievable. Meanwhile a large reptile market is planned for 27th June 2021 in Doncaster. Read our press release.

Governments should make their lists and check them twice to find out which pets are naughty or nice

As part of a study, coordinated by APA, animal protection groups in Europe and North America are recommending that governments implement stricter measures to control the exotic pet trade. Governments are being asked to permit the sale of only those species that can be safely sold and kept as pets without posing risks to people, the environment or the animals themselves. Animals that don’t make the ‘nice’ list should be prohibited from trade and keeping. Read our press release.

UK exotic pet markets could harbour next pandemic

APA warns the government not to underestimate the pandemic potential of UK wildlife markets. In England, exotic pet market organisers will reopen their events at the earliest opportunity. This will include the notorious International Herpetological Society ‘show’ at Doncaster Racecourse, at which many thousands of reptiles and amphibians are sold in cramped and stressful conditions. Read our press release.

Exotic pets are deprived of basic freedoms

Most exotic pets are kept in conditions that severely restrict their behaviour and life-quality. An article in this month’s issue of Veterinary Practice emphasises the fundamental need of wild animals to be kept in enclosures with sufficient space to meet their biological and behavioural needs. Read our press release.

Defra admits to misleading over snake welfare issue

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has apologised for making misleading statements about its highly controversial handling of government guidance to pet shops concerning snake care. Read our press release.

Scientists and vets call for a labelling scheme for pets

A scientific report published in the new issue of the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour calls for a 'pet-labelling scheme' to enable informed decision-making by consumers about the types of animals they keep. APA supports the proposed scheme, which is much-needed to ensure people don't acquire difficult or demanding pets. Read our press release.

APA at the London Vet Show

APA will be engaging with the veterinary community at the London Vet Show, ExCel on 16th and 17th November 2017, on the issues of exotic pets and 'positive lists'. Read our briefing doc and full guide to positive lists.

Urgent action needed: to ensure animals in the UK continue to be legally recognised as sentient beings

We are asking for your urgent help as progress on animal welfare in the UK is now in serious jeopardy. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which formally enacts Brexit, has failed to carry over a vital clause that forms the constitutional basis for any EU legislation that affects animal welfare. Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU recognises animals as sentient beings and carries a binding obligation for Member States to "pay full regard" to animal welfare when formulating new laws. This affects all animals, so we are supporting the Compassion in World Farming petition calling on the UK Government to incorporate Article 13 into national law and safeguard the status of animals as sentient beings. Please sign it today and pass it on!

House of Lords Reception on Brexit and animal welfare

February 2017 At a Reception in the House of Lords, APA, along with nine other animal welfare organisations, presented a 10 Point-Plan for animal welfare as the UK exits from the EU. We are calling for the UK to keep pace with other European Countries and adopt a ‘positive’ or permitted list of species that can be kept as pets. Any species not listed would no longer be able to be legally kept or sold. Read the 10 Point Plan.

Improvements to pet selling regulations welcomed but exotics must not be left out in the cold

February 2017 Plans announced by the Government for new regulations governing pet selling have been broadly welcomed by the Animal Protection Agency (APA) - an organisation that works to protect exotic pets. However, APA is calling for certain protections to be extended to all pets including non-domesticated or exotic animals. Read our press release.

Basildon Council wins praise for taking action on illegal animal trading and local venue managers are warned to be vigilant

October 2016 The Animal Protection Agency (APA) has praised Basildon Borough Council for taking a proactive stance on illegal animal trading and has issued an urgent warning to venue managers throughout Essex. Last week, one venue took the responsible action of refusing a booking from reptile market organisers and now APA and the Council are on the alert in case the organisers seek to stage an event elsewhere or next year. Read the press release.

Flawed study of pet reptile death rates is pulled apart for a second time

February 2016 Experts from around the world have, for a second time, comprehensively pulled apart a deeply flawed study, which found that 3.6% of reptiles die within their first year in the home. The findings of this latest study are wildly at odds with a more reliable study showing that at least 75% of these animals die in their first year. Read the latest response and our article and full discussion.

Study of pet reptile death rates criticised by leading experts

December 2015 Controversial research into pet reptile death rates in the home has been criticised as misleading by some of the world’s top experts in reptile science. The study estimated that 3.6% of pet reptiles die within their first year in the home. APA, alongside reptile experts, say that distorted conclusions may have been a consequence of the flawed methodology underpinning the study. Read the press release and our scientific critique.

New article explains how the exotic pet industry goes from bad to worse

December 2015 Exotic pet keeping may date back thousands of years to when remote tribal people commandeered wild animals or opened their doors to them, but the level of abuse endured by captive wildlife then was minor compared with the injustices and scale of the ‘modern’ pet industry. As biologist and medical scientist Clifford Warwick argues in his latest article in Veterinary Practice, pet trading and keeping is one of the few businesses that gets worse with time and it is wrongly propped up by a minority of vets and civil servants. Read the article.

Council of Europe acts to put brakes on the spread of amphibian fungal disease

December 2015 APA, alongside Froglife and Eurogroup for Animals, is calling on DEFRA to impose an immediate ban on the commercial salamander and newt trade in line with a Council of Europe recommendation. Immediate restrictions on the salamander and newt trade will help prevent the spread of a new deadly fungal disease capable of wiping out salamander and newt populations. Read our press release.

High Court upholds Council’s right to thwart unlawful animal trading

July 2015 APA has welcomed today’s High Court ruling that Arun District Council acted properly in warning Fontwell Park Racecourse of a substantial risk of unlawful activity at an exotic pet market planned for 27 October 2013. The Racecourse heeded the Council’s warnings and cancelled the event. Judicial Review proceedings were subsequently brought against Arun Council by exotic pet market organisers who claimed that the Council had no power to ‘procure the cancellation of the event’. Read the press release and the High Court judgment.

New guidelines for reptile and amphibian pet keeping receive ‘guarded support’ from the Animal Protection Agency

March 2015 ‘Good Practice Guidelines for the Welfare of Privately Kept Reptiles & Amphibians’ released last week by the ‘Federation of British Herpetologists’ (FBH) have received guarded support from the Animal Protection Agency (APA), an organisation that campaigns against the exotic pet trade. An independent scientific review of the document found that whilst the Guidelines were ‘largely replete with errors and misleading content’, some useful animal welfare information was also included that may help to address the appalling conditions inherent to the private ownership and trade involving wild animals as pets. Read the press release and the scientific review.

Notorious reptile market is put out to pasture by Kempton Park Racecourse

March 2015 Kempton Park Racecourse has today confirmed that it has refused a booking for a controversial reptile market planned to take place on 16 August 2015. The event, billed as the ‘Kempton Park Reptile Expo’, had become an annual affair and featured over 130 stalls selling reptiles and amphibians as pets - despite it being illegal to trade pet animals from market stalls! Read more

Exotic pet market cancelled by racecourse but animal group warns event may go underground

October 2013 A reptile and amphibian market due to take place this Sunday (27th October) has been cancelled by the venue, Fontwell Park Racecourse, on advice from Arun District Council. This is great news but APA now fears that exotic pet market organisers may now, at the last minute, be searching out a new venue and warns local venue managers against hosting the event. Read more

Snake trader admits to illegally selling animals at pet market

April 2013 A statement issued today by Doncaster Council has confirmed that a criminal prosecution brought by them against Mr Adam Wilford of AC Snakes, Leicestershire, has resulted in a formal caution being issued to Wilford for selling snakes at a market stall in June 2012. Mr Wilford, who describes himself as ‘private breeder’, initially denied the offence, but finally admitted to “carrying on a business” of selling animals as pets at a market, and was issued with a caution. Read more

Wild animal market goes underground in South Wales

April 2013 Organisers of a wild animal market planned for Sunday 14th April 2013 to sell reptiles and amphibians now claim to have found a new venue in Newport after being ousted from Council premises. Amidst serious concerns that the event could involve illegal wildlife trading and pose a public health and safety risk, the event organisers have said that venue details will not be announced until council offices close on Friday 12th April. The Animal Protection Agency (APA) is appealing for any information that may be helpful in tracking down the market - which may occur in or around the Newport area. Read more.

Norway says ‘no way’ to pet reptile and amphibian keeping

April 2013 In 1976, the trade and keeping of reptiles and amphibians in Norway was banned on animal welfare grounds. In 2008, after being alerted by the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance (NAPA) to a proposal to open trade for a limited number of species, APA commissioned a preliminary evaluation of the proposal before working with NAPA to recruit the support of like-minded organisations. A 65-page independent scientific assessment was then commissioned, which concluded that no reptiles or amphibians make suitable pets. Thanks to this collaborative effort we are now celebrating a victory for wildlife following the Norwegian government’s announcement that the 37-year old ban on reptile and amphibian keeping and trading will be upheld. Read more.

Wildlife jumble sale left rummaging by Newport Council

March 2013 APA has praised Newport City Council for being the latest in a long line of local authorities that have not played host to wild animal dealers selling from jumble sale-like markets. APA has provided evidence to the Council that the event could attract illegal trading and also pose a serious public health risk. Read more.

A recent report by German pet market booking agents is dismissed as ‘amateuristic and spurious’.

January 2013 A recent report by two individuals who take bookings for stalls at Terraristika, a large wildlife-trading event in Germany, has been dismissed by one of APA’s scientific team as ‘amateuristic and spurious’. The report demonstrates the authors’ embarrassing lack of knowledge in attempting understand and critique an independent scientific report on European pet markets, which was commissioned by APA and six other European organisations. Three leading experts in reptile biology and public health who carried out the investigation of pet markets found that: conditions and treatment of animals at markets in the UK, Spain and Germany were ‘tantamount to animal abuse’; that public health risks were significant; and that ecological threats were associated with all three events. When asked to comment on the trade’s attempt to defend their wildlife-trading event, Catrina Steedman (scientific co-author of the EU pet markets study) responded:

“It is not necessary for us to read or comment on unscientific reports of this nature.”

Three out of four pet reptiles die within a year

August 2012 A new scientific study of the exotic pet trade has found that at least 75% of pet snakes, lizards, tortoises and turtles die within one year in the home.

APA Director, Elaine Toland, teamed up with two of the world’s leading authorities in reptile biology, Clifford Warwick FSB and Phillip Arena PhD, to undertake a scientific research project looking into the annual mortality rate among UK reptiles, as well as ecological and public health issues. The research culminated in the publication of a major article on the exotic pet trade in The Biologist, published by the Society of Biology, which is one of the world’s most respected bioscience organizations, and the ‘voice of biology’.

Elaine Toland, Director of the Animal Protection Agency says: “The fact that most reptiles die within a year is truly tragic, and is probably unresolvable because reptiles and captivity simply don’t mix… A ban on this high turnover trade in ‘disposable’ animals is long overdue.”

Clifford Warwick, Biologist and Medical Scientist says: “The trading and keeping of exotic pets is responsible for decades of ecological, animal welfare and public health harm on a massive scale.”

Phillip Arena, Reptile Biologist, Murdoch University says: “Major threats such as habitat loss and climate change mean there is simply less wildlife out there… The impacts of the exotic pet industry are additional burdens the world does not need.”

Read more.

Dome Market Whistle Blowers

June 2012 This is a call to whistleblowers in the reptile-keeping community! We are seeking further information from you now in the event that reptile sellers arrive at the Dome market and fail to heed the prohibition on sales imposed by Doncaster Council and therefore attempt to break the law. In order to verify and forward any additional information in good time to HMRC we would need this information before 1500hrs Friday 15th June. Read more.

Wildlife traders face prosecution if Doncaster reptile market goes ahead

June 2012 A "total prohibition on animal sales" has been imposed by Doncaster Council on a reptile market due to take place on Sunday 17th June 2012 at The Dome. The Council confirmed in writing to APA that the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (the venue manager) would advise the event organisers today (12 June) that not a single animal is permitted to be sold at the event or its surroundings e.g car parks. Read more.

Warrington Council wins praise for blocking reptile market

May 2012 APA advised Warrington Borough Council that the event, if allowed to proceed as planned, would involve illegal animal trading. Prompt and decisive action by Warrington Borough Council Officers lead to the reptile market being cancelled. Read more.

First reptile market of the year is cancelled

May 2012 Thanks to a tip off from APA, and the work of conscientious Barking and Dagenham Council officials, the event due to take place on 12 May 2012 at the Castle Green Sports Centre in Dagenham, will not now be taking place. Read more.

Exotic pet promotion at the London Pet Show

May 2012 For the second year running, the London Pet Show, due to take place on 12-13 May at Earls Court Two, is heavily promoting the exotic pet trade. The Animal Protection Agency (APA) has condemned the Show promoters for being out of step with modern scientific evidence, which shows the harm inherent to exotic pet-keeping. Read more.

Amphibian and reptile pet markets in the EU

May 2012 A new independent scientific report, jointly commissioned by APA, International Animal Rescue, Eurogroup for Animals and other European animal protection groups, has resulted in calls for an EU-wide ban on exotic pet markets. The report was this week presented to Caroline Lucas MP and Keith Taylor MEP who will press for the recommendations to be adopted in the interests of protecting animal welfare, public health and biodiversity. Read our press release and the report (or report summary).

Cyprus Caimans

Dec 2011 In late 2010, 20 baby spectacled caiman crocodiles were imported into Cyprus, destined to be sold as pets, and were subsequently euthanized by a method known to cause pain and suffering. Following the refusal of the Cypriot authorities to fully account for the events that led up to the destruction of these animals, an independent report was commissioned by APA. The report raises several serious outstanding concerns — not least that CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) refused to take action on the issue. APA is calling on the European Commission to investigate the matter and you can help by writing to your MEP using our sample letter.

Essex Jungle

Apr 2011 The TV series, Essex Jungle, started this week, showing wildlife in its unnatural habitat. And as much as it may have intended to show the "quirkiness" of exotic pet-keeping, the show was very revealing of what some would simply call "animal abuse". Read more

Warning: Website and email scam

Sep 2010 If you have received an email proporting to be from the APA asking for your card details, please be warned this a scam. Please report it to thenational police fraud unit on 0300 123 2040 or online at actionfraud.org.uk/report_fraud. Note that the website at animal-protection-agency.co.uk is a fake clone of the real website http://www.apa.org.uk/.

We are hoping to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.

I'm a chameleon ....get me out of here

Aug 2010 The handmade cosmetic company, Lush, has teamed up with APA to launch a nationwide campaign to counter the growing popularity of reptiles as pets. The Lush campaign features in-store parties aimed at under 12-yr olds with a reptile quiz, arts and crafts, and information to take away about why reptiles don't make good pets. Those clever alchemists at Lush have even formulated a limited edition, colour-changing chameleon bath ballistic to raise funds for APA's work (on sale throughout August, priced at £2.50). Read more.

Doncaster Council's incompetence results in large-scale illegal animal trading

Jun 2010 The Animal Protection Agency and International Animal Rescue have condemned Doncaster Council for failing to take action to stop unlawful animal trading at a reptile market at the Doncaster Dome. Illegal animal dealers will line their pockets while thousands of wild animals suffer as a result of the council's shameful inaction. Read more.

Students get the low-down on exotic pet trade

May 2010 College students and lecturers in animal care and veterinary nursing attended a seminar, co-sponsored by the APA Foundation, at the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary on 7 May 2010 to learn more about the exotic pet trade. Read more.

Maidstone Council is commended by animal groups for disallowing a reptile market

Apr 2010 Following our investigation at last year's event APA and International Animal Rescue are delighted that Maidstone Borough Council has effectively refused permission for a reptile market due to take place on Sunday, 18 April 2010. Read more.

Council wins praise for prosecuting a pet dealer for selling a goldfish to a child

Mar 2010 APA has praised Trafford Council for bringing a prosecution against the boss of Major's Pet Shop in Sale, Greater Manchester for selling a goldfish to a 14-year old boy and for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. We call on other councils to follow their example and take action against pet dealers who are known to routinely break the law. Read more.

Don't smooch that snake, kiss that croc, pucker-up for that python...

Feb 2010 Valentines Day is well and truly over as a new government campaign warns that reptiles should be kept at a distance. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has launched a leaflet to inform of the risks of salmonella infections associated with reptile-keeping:
http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1259152366014 Read more

Norway exotic animal threat to people and wildlife

Jun 2009 Diseases to both humans and wild animals could flood into Norway on a tide of imported exotic animals if the Norwegian government lifts a long-term ban on the keeping of reptiles and amphibians as pets. APA has teamed up with groups lobbying for better animal protection on both sides of the North Sea to plead with the Norwegian government not to re-open trade and suffer deadly outcomes - as already seen in Britain... Read more.

Gala evening of fine food and fun in aid of wildlife protection

Mar 2009 A fabulous fundraising event attended by celebrities took place on Friday 27th March 2009 at The Old Market Theatre, Hove to raise funds for the Animal Protection Agency and International Animal Rescue. The event, which was generously sponsored by Sussex-based catering company, VegOut raised a fantastic £13,405 for the two organisations. Read more.

Interview with Dr Caroline Lucas

Feb 2009 Caroline Lucas is a politician with passion. Championing environmentalism, human rights and animal welfare, the Green Party Leader and MEP is now making a bid for Westminster.

APA Director, Elaine Toland, caught up with Caroline in a vegetarian café in Brighton... read more.

APA presses exotic pet trade issue in Brussels

Nov 2008 APA's Director, Elaine Toland, attended the fourth annual conference of ENDCAP (a European network of wildlife protection groups and specialist consultants), which took place from 9th - 11th November in Brussels.

As Co-Chair of the Trade and Capture of Wildlife Committee, Elaine Toland proposed key projects to tackle the trade in wild animals as pets and received good support... Read more

A Far Cry from Nature

Terraristika, possibly the world's largest exotic animal fair, which takes place in Hamm, Germany, is the subject of a shocking, new docu-film by APA and International Animal Rescue. The images are powerful and the narration elucidates the inhumanities and wastefulness of the reptile trade - a trade which, disturbingly, is on the increase.

Part I

Part II

Investigation of Europe's largest reptile fair

APA teamed up with the International Animal Rescue to carry out a joint investigation of Terraristika - the largest and most notorious reptile fair in Europe, which took place on 15 March 2008. After viewing footage of the event, Clifford Warwick, world-renowned reptile biologist, gave us his damning opinion.

Read more

New campaign poster

Trapped, Traded & Trashed poster

A powerful new poster spelling out the tragic fate of many animals in the exotic pet trade is available from APA. Click on the image to see the larger version in PDF format.

New educational flyers

Before you reach for that reptile Before you purchase that parrot

To raise awareness of the suffering of animals in the exotic pet trade and to promote the simple message that exotic animals do not make good pets, APA has produced two new educational flyers. (see right)

Six-point plan for pet shops

Whilst the Government is preparing new, draft guidelines for pet shops, APA has released its Six-Point Plan. This document outlines essential changes that would bring about much-needed improvements to the way pet shops operate. APA proposes that pet shops failing to meet the basic conditions set out in the Six-Point Plan should not be allowed to sell animals.

See our Six-Point Plan for Pet Shops factsheet and postcard.

A dogs's life

APA has uncovered a sickening trade in dogs at horse markets in England and Wales, showing that it is not only exotic animals that suffer at temporary events. Caged litters of puppies are sold in abysmal conditions and offered for sale at bargain prices.

Find out more

DEFRA ban bird fairs to prevent avian flu spread

APA welcomes prompt action by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to prohibit bird fairs and exhibitions as a measure to hopefully halt the spread of avian influenza.

Read the full media release.

Wild bird imports for the pet trade are banned

11 Jan 2007 EU animal health experts have introduced new measures that mean a permanent end to the commercial importation of wild birds into the European Union for the pet trade. Under the new rules, which form part of a strategy to combat avian influenza, only imports of captive-bred birds will be permitted.

Read the full media release.


Commercial trading of pet animals at fairs to be outlawed

11 Oct 2006 Exactly two years to the day after APA investigated the Stafford Bird Fair, DEFRA announced that they now intend to ban the commercial trading of animals at pet fairs when the Animal Welfare Bill comes into force next year. This is the news that we have all been waiting for and it is precisely what you as our supporters, and we here at campaign headquarters, wanted.

In October 2004 we made a documentary film about the Stafford bird market which led to a local resident taking Stafford Council to court for allowing the event. The resulting decision of the High Court was that such events were illegal and that ruling has led DEFRA to revise its approach and ban commercial sales of animals, which includes birds, reptiles and mammals at temporary markets.

Like us, you were appalled at the inherent inhumanity of selling pet animals, including wildlife, from stalls in marketplaces and the disturbing stresses they faced while being transported to and fro across the country until sold or dead.

Like us, you knew that is was wrong to treat sensitive animals in the ways they were subjected to at pet markets and you, too, were determined to see the end of these events.

Like us, no doubt you warmly welcome the Government's new measures that offer all of us what we have strived to achieve - a better, safer and compassionate future for those animals that need our protection.

While we have more work to do in supporting the Government's new plans, and to continue to monitor future progress, I cannot help but take this early opportunity to say a heartfelt and happy thank you to you, our supporters, who have been with us all the way and who have, with your generosity and confidence, carried us this far. I know you will be with us for the rest of this journey, but for now -


Elaine Toland MRSH

Press Release October 2006

Government to ban commercial trading of pet animals at fairs

In a sudden turn of events, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has today announced that it proposes to ban commercial trading at pet fairs in the new Animal Welfare Bill. The Animal Protection Agency (APA), which spearheaded a campaign to stamp out such barbaric trading of mainly exotic, wild-caught animals, has commended the Government and now looks forward to the Bill receiving Royal Assent.

Other organisations that opposed commercial pet markets include, the British Veterinary Association, RSPCA, RSPB, BioVeterinary Group, BirdsFirst, International Fund for Animal Welfare, World Society for the Protection of Animals, Captive Animals Protection Society, Born Free Foundation, Animal Aid, Wildlife Conservation Society, New Life Parrot Rescue and the Tortoise Trust. APA will now be holding talks with its many associate organisations to discuss how best they can support DEFRA with their new plans.

A Judicial Review judgement in June cleared-up any ambiguity relating to the current law on pet fairs, and DEFRA described it as a "useful contribution to the debate". The APA are in concert with Animal Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw, that DEFRA's revised measures will help to provide "the best protection yet for animals at pet fairs."

Elaine Toland, Director of APA, said:
"The Government's new and clear intention to prohibit commercial trading of animals at pet fairs is a most welcome advancement for animal welfare that sits comfortably in a Bill designed to bring about real improvements in the way we treat animals. The Animal Welfare Bill, with this latest commitment, ensures genuine protection for countless thousands of pet and wild animals.

Clifford Warwick, Consultant Biologist and Medical Scientist, said: "For many years I've been familiar with the worrisome issue of commercial trading of wildlife at pet fairs. Combined, the hard work of many local authorities to stamp out these events has been constructively built on by animal welfare groups such as the APA and more recently the High Court. DEFRA's revised position to ban commercial selling of animals at pet fairs is arguably the most important and positive move on this subject for a long time. It is to be welcomed and is sure to be widely supported in the key circles."

The "Stop UK Pet Markets" campaign also enjoyed the support of world- renowned experts in biology, conservation and medicine. The APA campaign team were heartened by the enormous cross-party support right up to high- level discussions with MPs, Ministers and Peers. Cherie Blair, Gordon Brown and Environment Minister, David Miliband, personally expressed to APA their genuine interest in the issue.

Issued: October 10, 2006