Thursday, 31 October 2013

Exotic pet market cancelled in UK but animal group warns event may go underground

Animal market unlawful
October 2013. A reptile and amphibian market that was due to take place last weekend was cancelled by the venue, Fontwell Park Racecourse, on advice from Arun District Council. Although the event was billed as a ‘private breeders meeting', the Animal Protection Agency (APA) provided evidence to Arun District Council that the event would constitute an animal market and that trading of animals at the event would be unlawful.

Pet Animals Act
The Pet Animals Act 1951 (Section 2) states that ‘if anyone carries on a business of selling animals as pets ....at a stall or barrow in a market, he shall be guilty of an offence'. The licensing and legal teams, on receipt of evidence from APA, provided information to the racecourse, which included details relating to the Council's interpretation of the legislation in relation to the proposed activities. Consequently, Fontwell Park Racecourse advised the Council that they had taken the decision to cancel the event.

Enforcement of Section 2 of the Pet Animals Act has improved in recent years. The legislation prevents pet animals from being traded in temporary and makeshift environments, which could cause the animals to suffer. A recent prosecution brought by Doncaster Council resulted in a formal caution being issued to a trader who initially described himself as a private breeder, but finally admitted to ‘carrying on a business' of selling pet animals at a market.

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