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Posted by W von Papinešu on February 12, 2003 at 13:35:21:
REDDITCH SPA ADVERTISER (UK) 12 February 03 Reptile show starts cold-blooded row
An animal welfare group is preparing its fight to stop a controversial reptile show being held in Redditch.
It follows a request by the International Herpetological Society to hold events in the town after a similar show at Arrow Valley Social Club in September proved a success.
About 500 reptile enthusiasts attended the show but hundreds of outraged animal rights campaigners have since written to the council and objection letters are still pouring in daily.
Last year's event was only agreed at short notice but the society was told it had to make an application to the council before any further events could go ahead.
Tonight, the council's executive committee will decide whether or not to agree to an application asking if the council would object to more events.
Animal Aid's senior campaign officer Elaine Toland said: "Our main problem is from an animal welfare point of view.
"Animals can't be protected in temporary environments. They are kept in margarine containers and there is no temperature control and no ventilation. It can be extremely stressful.
"And there are problems with the salmonella risk having animals where food and drink is consumed."
Miss Toland said most local authorities refused to give permission for such shows to go ahead.
Issues surrounding the selling of animals and legislation under the Pet Animals Act as to whether or not a licence was needed have also been raised.
Herpetological Society secretary Alan Wilkie said: "We are the only country in the EU where there are problems relating to these shows.
"They are not illegal. There has been no change in the law relating to the Pet Animals Act and these shows do not fall within its guidelines. They are private members' meetings not open to the public."
Council leader and executive committee chairman David Cartwright said: "I am uneasy about these sorts of shows and have some sympathy with the fact it can be uncomfortable for the animals."