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Press Release May 2012

Warrington Council wins praise for blocking reptile market

A reptile market due to take place on Sunday 20th May 2012 at Walton Hall, Warrington has been cancelled. The Animal Protection Agency (APA) advised Warrington BC that the event, billed as a reptile ‘show’, would not be just a show but would involve illegal animal trading. Prompt and decisive action by Warrington Borough Council Officers has meant that the market will not now take place, sparing animals the inhumane treatment inherently associated with these events.

In 1983, trading in pet animals at markets stalls was banned in an amendment to the Pet Animals Act 1951, as animal welfare cannot be safeguarded in these makeshift conditions. Warrington Council’s categorical advice to the organiser was that no animal trading whatsoever would be permitted. The event was subsequently cancelled. Last week another reptile market was cancelled in Dagenham following similar action taken by the Council there.

Said Elaine Toland, Director of the Animal Protection Agency:

“We will hopefully soon see an end to illegal animal trafficking via these disturbing events as more Councils, like Warrington BC, take responsible, preventative action. Exotic pet markets have been likened to large jumble sales but instead of old clothes, frightened wild animals in small, plastic tubs are on offer. ”

Recent research into exotic pet markets has found that they are fundamentally commercial in nature. An independent scientific report on exotic pet markets in the UK and Europe found that the conditions and treatment for most animals was ‘tantamount to animal abuse’

In their letter to the Council, APA also highlighted the public health risks associated with the close proximity of people to captive exotic animals and the post-event contamination of the venue. By taking a firm stance against the event, the Council has protected the public against these health risks.

Note to Editors

The recently published independent scientific report on Amphibian and Reptile Pet Markets in the EU, jointly commissioned by APA, is available to download from www.apa.org.uk