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GIANT ILLEGAL WILD BIRD MARKET TAKES PLACE AT THE NEC
Posted 3 December 2003
Up to 100,000 exotic birds will be on sale at Britain's biggest bird market on 6th and 7th December at the NEC. National animal protection group, Animal Aid, which claims that the majority of these birds will have been trapped in the wild, has organised a weekend long demonstration outside the event. The National Cage & Aviary Birds Exhibition has been dubbed a 'jumble sale of birds' by campaigners who have vowed to ensure that this illegal event will never be allowed again.
According to the Pet Animals Act 1951, it is against the law to carry on a business of selling pet animals in public places. The general definition of a public place in law is 'anywhere to which the public has access, whether on payment or otherwise'. Solihull Council, despite overwhelming opposition, took the extraordinary step of granting a licence for the event in March of this year. They claimed to have obtained a barrister's opinion which supported their decision. However, a senior local authority officer advised Animal Aid that the council did not wish to make the advice public in case it was used as 'ammunition' against them.
Says Animal Aid campaigner, Elaine Toland:
"It is staggering to think that wildlife dealers have been granted permission to engage in their squalid business at such a high profile venue. Banks of cages with sick and terrified birds is a depressing sight indeed but even more depressing is the realisation that, for every wild-caught bird, another three will have died during the brutal capture process or on route."
Protestors will be handing out leaflets to visitors to the event advising them not to engage in illegal activity by purchasing birds.
Notes to Editors
- For more information contact Elaine Toland on 01732 364546.
- We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.
- For background information see our bird market campaign index.