Stop this trade

I M sure that your readers will be shocked, as I was, to learn of an ongoing illegal trade in pet animals that is taking place right under our noses here in the UK. The commercial sale of pet animals in markets and public places was banned in 1983 under t

I'M sure that your readers will be shocked, as I was, to learn of an ongoing illegal trade in pet animals that is taking place right under our noses here in the UK.

The commercial sale of pet animals in markets and public places was banned in 1983 under the Pet Animals Act 1951. But pet animal dealers still travel the length and breadth of the country to sell stressed and suffering animals, including birds, reptiles, rabbits and even puppies at these animal jumble sales.

These commercial dealers attend exotic pet fairs and horse markets and, to circumvent the law, they pose as private individuals selling their own pets. Cash-strapped local councils simply don't have the resources to carry out in-depth investigations to prove that traders are making a profit and breaking the law.

I must stress the important message that you should never purchase an animal from one of these events. Report any cruelty that you see, but never buy an animal that you take pity on - by doing so you are simply ensuring that this type of trade continues.

The Animal Protection Agency (APA) has spearheaded a campaign to persuade the Government to carry forward the ban on commercial pet sales at markets into new legislation and has outlined further proposals to insure that the ban is enforced.

APA can be contacted on 01273 674253 for a free 'Stop UK Pet Markets' campaign pack, or for more information go to www.apa.org.uk

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ANTHONY ROLLS, West Street, Huntingdon

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