Saturday, 26 December 2015

RSPCA warns rise of 'fad pets' inspired by popular films is leading to widespread neglect of exotic animals

The warning comes as the government announces the online sale of dangerous exotic pets like snakes, lizards and meerkats is to be regulated for the first time

By Laura Hughes, Political Correspondent

7:30PM GMT 25 Dec 2015

The rise of "fad pets" and impulse purchasing following the release of popular films is leading to the widespread neglect of exotic animals, the RSPCA have warned in the run up to Christmas.


The animal charity also saw a 191 per cent rise in the number of calls about meerkats, after the Compare the Meerkat advert was launched in 2009.

After the release of Finding Nemo in 2003, they said pet shops and breeders reported a 60 per cent rise in sales of clown fish, despite the message of the film's focus on how Nemo resisted being captured and kept in a tank.

The warning comes as the government announces the online sale of dangerous exotic pets like snakes, lizards and meerkats is to be regulated for the first time.

Current laws predate the large-scale sale of animals over the internet and there are currently no controls for those who set up online as individual traders.

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